Hidden Valley Waterfall

Hidden Valley Waterfall

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A very mixed day

I started my day by traveling about an hour to have lunch with my paraprofessional and her grandparents at their home. She was the only one who spoke English, so it was an interesting few hours, filled with lots of smiling and nodding, as if I really had a clue, although we all knew I didn't. Her grandparents were amazing though. And I managed to impress them with my chopstick skills after just a few months in China!! Go me!

The not so great things of our time together:  I thought I was buying a bottle of water in the local market when we went to get beer, but it turned out to be an "ion providing drink"...guessing that means it is like a Gatorade? Anyway, the name: Pocari Sweat. No lie. They use sweat in the name. Of course, as I was trying to drink it, I couldn't help but wonder about the contents. I did not finish the bottle.

Then, while eating lunch (which, btw, was a huge array of different and authentic Chinese dishes), I was asked how everything was. It was good. Some things I did like better than others, but overall, it was all good. Until I tasted something that was not good. It was mushy and oily and just down right made me want to throw up. Granted, it did NOT help that my mind was grossed out knowing it was some part of an animal, but I was not to be told until after. So, I managed to keep down one bite (barely) and find out it was boiled pig skin. Yah, was turning for hours on that one.

The highlight of today was definitely meeting a wonderful couple who have been married for 60 years and who were kind and welcomed me into their home. Grandma told me I was beautiful and looked younger than my para, who is actually 10 yrs younger than me!! I laughed. And Grandpa, well, he stole my heart. He reminded me in so many ways of my own grandpa. It was as if my Gramps had a Chinese version in front of me. I was so taken back by this. As the day progressed, Grandpa warmed up to me and even got out the photo albums to share his trip to Australia with me, as he learned I'll be heading there soon.  Then, when it was time to go, he surprised me and hugged me, with one of those hugs that makes you just feel like home. I actually cried. I know it sounds a tad crazy, but he even hugged like my grandpa does. There were so many similarities and I was flooded with flashbacks and memories. I was so moved, and at the same time, missing my own Grandpa. Here's a picture of us from today.
Gramps and I are even wearing the same colors and styles today: purple with vests! :) Gotta love it!

Once I got back to my neighborhood, I ran some errand with a friend. Then we went for massages. I have a kink/out-of-place something or another in my neck and he couldn't even touch it w/out me going through the roof. He did his best to massage around it and work it out. He kept insisting I try "cupping". He said it would help and only after one use. It was only $5, so I agreed to try. Boy, oh boy, what the hell did I get myself into?

Cupping is where they use a flame to add heat inside of a glass ball/jar thing. Then, they stick it to your skin, suctioning a large circle of skin inside. Yes, it hurts. Not unbearable, but definitely uncomfortable. Then, he moves them around, as to massage in a way. THAT HURTS!!! I was in tears on that. Then, he removes them, but popping them off, breaking the suction. You are left with a sore back that is covered in hickey-looking marks!! Please, just look at this link to see what it is about if you are unsure:

Here is a picture of the upper part of my back. Yep...nice big marks. I sure as heck hope they are gone in 13 days before I head to Australia!! Otherwise, I'll be needing a cover up for my swimsuit!!

Ok, for some reason, the darn thing will not rotate to a normal view, but you get the picture - literally! I do not think I'll be doing this form of acupuncture again. I did, however, meet someone there who passed along a business card for a friend that does acupuncture and at an affordable price for me. So, I am going to give her a call and see about trying the needle kind. It can't hurt any worse. Can it? haha. 

So, now that my very odd and emotional day is done, I am off to bed. The phone is turned off and I plan to sleep in - something I have not done in weeks. 

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