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Welcome to May in Harbin!

Welcome to May in Harbin! Harbin, China

Harbin, China- May 17, 2013

May is my favorite month, if you can’t tell! Happy Birthday to all the May babies! I spent my first birthday away from home and it felt so weird. Im used to just going home to moms house and eating her homemade cake like we eat every year, this year I spent my birthday weekend in Beijing and when I came back to Harbin, I had a nice quiet birthday eating pizza with my roomies. May in Harbin is full of activity! Outdoor eateries are opening up along every street, ice cream shops are opening up, people are outside enjoying the weather, fruit stands and night markets are bustling hubs for conversation and bartering! Weather is nearly 80 degrees every day with a nice breeze (sometimes) … sometimes the breeze is more like a sandy windstorm where I am walking with my eyes nearly closed (squinty) After being in a cocoon for so long because of the cold harsh winter, everyone is in a good mood! I love how the elders are always hanging out with ea ch other at the parks, dancing, working out or playing cards & mah jong. I saw this older man playing this whipping top gam, which entails

a top and a whip. By the water, people were prepping for the dragon boat festival in June by decorating their boats! Across the Songhua River, which has now finally melted ( it used to be rock solid where you can walk across to the other side of the river) , is the Siberian Tiger Park. Its a reserve for the tigers who are nearly extinct. They take really good care of them here, but felines are never much fun to look at unless th ey are feeding. We got there around mid afternoon so they big cats definitely was in rest mode. They also had a LIGER! I didnt think they were real! Ligers are a hybrid animal that is made from a male lion and a female tiger. It was a farely small reservation but the tigers were definitely worth seeing if you ever get a chance to come to Harbin! I went to see Iron Man 3! Pretty good, except that because there was chinese subtitles, the parts that the actors were really speaki ng Chinese I did not understand, so I think I missed a bit of the movie. 😉 Carnations for Mother’s Day was a little different than what Im used to. But in my class, I had my students make cards for their mothers to show some appreciation. (Except one of my students decided to write in his card: “I love you mom, but I don’t like your mouth” so I asked him what that means and he made the waving hand over nose notion as if her breath stunk!!) Lol I was literally cracking up inside! Since I don’t have to wear 30 layers of clothes anymore, or keep an eye on the slippery concrete, I think I will do a little more exploring of Harbin and let you know what I find!

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