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Fire Crackers Everywhere!!!

Fire Crackers Everywhere!!! Harbin, China

Harbin, China- February 24, 2013

As I’m watching and listening to the boisterous sounds of the fire crackers for the last day of the lantern festival, I’m thinking about how much my feet are killing me from the amount of walking I have been doing in this treacherous terrain. It is so much of a workout! Ice alll over the floor, hard snow everywhere, the biting cold weather! It’s really a climate unbeknownst to me! I’m exhausted by like 9p every night! And to think I thought I was in good shape… Good thing I stole moms socks! A life saver!…I bought this really cute, really big and really warm ear warmer that made my day a whole lot brighter. Now I just have to work on something to keep my little fingers alive! Tomorrows task! I bought a cellphone and a sim card to be able to use while I’m here. BTW the fireworks are EVERYWHERE and REALLY loud. It’s not illegal here so everyone is doing it, kids included! Sounds like gunshots to me…but thats just me I guess. There are the fire crackers as well as the fireworks as we know it. It seems pretty dangerous to me. And where ever there was a fire cracker being lit up I see the men running away, someone fanning the fire and smoke and people covering their ears….I heard one really LOUD boom and scuttled into the restaurant for dinner.

Earlier we took the 1 kuai bus into central street where it has a lot of Russian influence.Down in Shanghai they consider the people in Harbin as being so much bigger and stronger and I think its because they have to do so much more physically taxing labor due to the cold AND that maybe they mixed with the Russians! There are so many tall Chinese up here…I’m back to being a shorty again! …Its a really nice part of town. Harbin, in general, is considered the fashion capital of the northeast of China so there are soooooooooooo many malls! Oh yea, they have UNDERGROUND malls everywhere because it is so cold!! It’s looks kind of like you are going in the subway station and it is just a nice mall. Its so….resourceful. I found a post office =] A walmart, H&M, etc… There is so many cool Ice Sculptures!!

Up here in Harbin, the people speak almost perfect Mandarin, the way they teach it in the textbooks so its so much easier to navigate around here and I feel that they are so much more patient with us. We ate at this Muslim restaurant and it was great! I had tang mien..basically noodles and the children just about run the restaurant. We went to the Lake and walked on the lake! It is SOLID ICE. They had some tubing slides made of ice, dog sledding, this top game and many other activities on the ice! I have never seen anything like this! Everyone is dress in their furs and big coats and nice hats ready for the Nippy ‘Spring Time’ Fun! Tomorrow I have another free day to explore Harbin because my apartment still isn’t ready!

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