The Peace Corps 21 cohort has finished up their service here in China. The past few weeks I’ve been running around Lanzhou bidding farewell to the gang that got here a year before me.
I’m grateful for their guidance over the past year, and the many moments of camaraderie we shared over 501 Coffee, at the clubs M2 and COLORS with horrendous DJs (“put your fucking hands up!! 1… 2… 3…!!! 你们HI了没?!?”), or under Zhong Shan Bridge on warmer nights with beer and tea gazing out to the rushing, murky waters of the Yellow River.
weChat comes with sets of stickers to use to send to your friends. One of my favorites is this dog “Shiba Inu” and his many moods- shocked, sad, eating, embarrassed, wistful, nervous, etc. See below for the first 16 emotions of Shiba Inu:
The one I never understood was the nosebleed emoji- why the heck would someone send me a nosebleeding dog? (other sticker sets also contain central characters gushing blood out of their nostrils).
This past Thursday, my 4:30 PM Oral English class was completely empty- I freaked and thought I accidentally went to the wrong room, when I remembered the morning class telling me there was a dance competition in the afternoon, at the north campus. With this in mind, I took a brisk walk over to see what the fuss was about.
At my school in Lanzhou, breakups and relationship drama are a very public affair. Young couples will make a scene outside the front gate of the north campus for everyone to see. The guy always looks angry and talks loudly, while the girl (she usually wears a baseball cap, maybe to better hide her mascara-streaked face) silently cries at the prospect of getting dumped by this loser over a misunderstanding that probably wasn’t her fault.
And the rest of us pretend to go on with our lives but we keep looking over our shoulder every ten seconds.
This past weekend was Lanzhou University of Finance and Economics’ 7th Annual “China – America Friendship Softball Game” (中美友好垒球联赛). PCVs from across Gansu gathered in Lanzhou late Friday and took an early Saturday bus down to the school’s Heping campus to play softball and engage in intercultural exchange with the Chinese students.