German and I took a week's vacation to the beautiful island of Hainan. This was the one and only journal entry I made during our trip:
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6-9-11
We've enjoyed our visit here so far, even through bouts of paranoia about being cheated by every vendor and food service person we encounter. At some point you just gotta brush your shoulders off and say, hey, so I was cheated out of 10RMB, I'm on vacation. We were also dismayed at the price of a decent sized bottle of sunscreen, after having been burnt thoroughly by this blazing equatorial sun on our first day. Me on my shoulders and back, despite the umbrella (or parasol, rather) I take around with me everywhere. 
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Oh well. We've learned not to go to the beach at high noon and now realize why it seems surprisingly empty at that hour. At around 5-6 o'clock when it is still daylight but the direct sun has relented somewhat, the beach is packed with Chinese tourists. My favorite are the men in tiny little speedo briefs, also wearing matching swimsuits with their buddies. And the stick thin guys with their grasshopper legs jutting out of  something resembling saggy granny panties. I've noticed that in China, the males are the ones who dress scantily at the beach while the women remain pretty conservative.
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Every morning when I wake up, I go to the little street by our hostel (Blue Sky) and pick up a giant water and some street food for our breakfast. The Hainan street food is GOOD! My favorite is this kind of burrito (that's what we call it), filled with egg, chive,  and like vermicelli noodles. I'm in heaven as far as shopping, too. There are great markets nearby with beach stuff and racks of silk garments for 30RMB each. Also you can get cheap hilarious hawaiin shirts/shorts sets. .
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German showing off his Hawaiin shirt. I stole the matching shorts.
For the last two days when we couldn't stand the heat, we've found respite in a nearby foreigner bar called Dolphin with pretty decent prices and good food. I ate some huevos rancheros there that could have been shipped directly from Texas they were so perfect. They also have free pool and foosball tables, which I always enjoy
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Yesterday we finally got around to visiting the tourist information building and got some good info on things to do besides eat, shop, and lounge. Not that there is anything wrong with those activities. Today we'll take a 45 minute bus ride to see a famous buddhist statue. I'm a little meh about ticket prices at 150RMB but German is really interested in this and I know it's an important "China" thing to do. 
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Nights here have been just as lovely as the days with the fear of sunburn subtracted. Our favorite thing to do is buy drinks and sit out on the beach for a nighttime picnic. Last night German bought this amazing laser for 50RMB from a wandering vendor. Probably one of the best purchases of the trip. It rivals my silk robe. 
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I've experienced one of the negatives of China these past few weeks. The random, unannounced and unexplained blockage of certain websites followed by their sudden return. I have a tumblr blog I was kind of in to when home in the states that I accepted the reality of being separated from during China (http://zombielace.tumblr.com). Then one day, tumblr begins to work! I get obsessed again. Then just as suddenly it is snatched away again, along with its siblings Flickr, Weebly (this here website), and Gmail. I was plunged into a feverish withdrawal. Just when I was contemplating throwing myself in front of a bus... well I wouldn't have to throw myself, standing too close to the curb would probably do the trick in China... Suddenly they're all back. But who knows for how long? Just one more thing summoning me home.

Home. Bought a ticket. I have a month and 10 days remaining. I'm partially looking forward to it and partially heart broken at the idea. I really feel like I've found my place here and that I'm loved and have been a successful teacher. I feel like a rockstar every morning, or really every time, I walk through the kindergarten yard and little voices shout "Miss Katie!! Miss Katie!!" and I get more than my daily dose of hugs and kisses and human monkey bar treatment. I'm really going to miss them, realistically more than they will miss me. And I feel protective of them. Like... the next foreign teacher better not suck! She better be sweet and funny and patient and make them fall in love with her and continue loving English! Funny and patient. I think those are two of the keys to being the foreign teacher. Not even the teacher I guess, just the foreigner. 
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