Sunday, April 13, 2008


Yesterday the foreign teachers here had a barbecue in a nearby park. I was expecting picnic tables, grass, and frisbees, but instead we got a concrete amphitheater with concrete grill/tables and concrete benches and loads of Chinese people enjoying the rainy day. The food, though, did not disappoint. We had everything from beef and chicken legs to squid and eggplant, all skewered and coated in hot pepper. Delicious.

After the feast, we stopped by the rock climbing wall in the park. The park has lots of rides, but their rickety appearance and inability to excite through any means but excessive spinning kept us away from them. The climbing wall, though, is new, and uses equipment from my friend's outdoor supply store, so it is presumably safe. Since I'd never climbed before, I didn't plan on doing so, but in the end I was roped in. Harnessed in too. Thanks to my height, I was able to make it to the top of all but the most difficult routes which not even the more advanced climbers we were with could conquer.

And today I went again, to a different wall though, this one attached to the side of a computer market in the middle of the city. This one was higher, more difficult, and ran by actual climbers (unlike the other, built by a farmer looking to make some easy money). Again I managed to make it to the top, but not on the more challenging overhanging parts of the wall. It was amazing to watch some of the climbers there scurry to the top in less than 20 seconds, effortless as a monkey.

Hours later, my fingers are still a bit sore as I type this. But it sure was fun.

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