CNY was pretty awesome. I probably shouldn't have decided to leave for China three days before it started but whatever. After getting a late start the morning after I arrived, Jen and I went out into the city to look around. I thought Chinese cities were crowded as it is but with all the people traveling to visit family and whatnot it was just ridiculous. There were decorations everywhere, often including rabbits, which was kind of cool I guess. But I wasn't too crazy about the many meat stalls around where the butchers were cutting rabbits up. I used to have a rabbit as a pet and these guys are chopping them up and leaving gory piles of fur in the middle of the street! :-( I suppose it's better than cats and dogs though. We went to this one street where the shops were only open for 3 days a year during CNY where they sold flowers, orange trees, toys and all kinds of other stuff. We went to a tea garden to relax for a bit where I almost busted my ass in front of some hot girls but thankfully I'm way to ninja for that and I caught myself before anyone saw me. And later we went to the Sun Yat-sen Museum. Chinese museums are really nice. They are well maintained, usually have a lot of interesting stuff, have English labels on things, and are almost always FREE!!!! That's totally amazing to me.
And they look nice.
After lunch we had to go to the police station again to get my residence papers filed. That's really important, guys. Don't forget that. If you stay at a hotel I think they do it for you but if you are staying with someone in the city you have to file the papers within 24 hours. I think you have 3 days to do it if you are staying in a rural area. And instead of beating the free market trade out of me like I expected them to, one of the police officers actually recognized me and asked why I cut my hair. HOLY CRAP. And here I thought all white people looked the same.
One of Jen's aunts came to visit and stayed for about a week and a half. Ayi (auntie) Cham (pronounced "Com") is what I called her. That night we went out to the riverfront and enjoyed the city lights and shops where I discovered the greatest snack food ever. Sugarcane. No joke. It's amazing. It's dirt cheap and it'll strengthen your teeth! I was exhausted and destroyed from traveling the day before so we turned in early. Many Chinese houses are open to the outside by glassless windows, which is good for airflow and ventilation but watch out because sometimes you might wake up to have one of these in your face.