It’s been a while (i.e., nearly a year since college) since I’ve stayed indoors on a weekend for most of the day just working.
Despite sleeping around 1 a.m., I managed to wake up at 9 with a feeling of actual alertness, something I haven’t felt in recent mornings. Soon, however, after enjoying some oatmeal with honey and reading “The People’s Republic of Cruiseland” by Christopher Beam, I felt sleepy again, lying back down on my bed, only to feel like shit from a stuffy noise, getting back up to start my day. Yeah, it’s only been half a year in China, and this is my third (or fourth if you count the sudden allergic reaction) time getting sick. How I keep track? I realized last night I’ve taken the same brand of Chinese pills three times now.
So from early afternoon to literally midnight and with some short breaks, I’ve been catching up on weeks of procrastination on editing my interview with the WeChat product manager. Since we filmed it in the very beginning of March, I hardly touched the episode, with Mehdi in Hong Kong and my necessary preoccupation with confronting work about payment. Since then, there’s been progress, but let’s just say I’m quite adamant on going to grad school ASAP—but more on that later.
I’ve definitely done more work these few days than these weeks combined, and I’m hoping this week will be the last so that the 20-minute episode will be ready to air this weekend (China works like that—you can go from 0 to 100 for just about anything). I’m actually quite excited about this one in particular, not only because of the topic, but also because of my video production. 😛 Unlike my first two episodes, this one hardly uses any photos, meaning there’s actual moving footage and cool transitions and other neat things I try to incorporate to make this the best video I’ve produced yet!
As for this weekend generally, I didn’t celebrate my birthday in the typical sense. On Tuesday, my family friends and relatives took me out for an extravagant dinner, one of many I’ve had with the same crowd and one that I will definitely write about in another post. They figured I would have my own plans on my actual birthday. I didn’t.
On my actual birthday, the sun reappeared just in time! Guangzhou got hit with rain and cold all week, so it felt incredibly refreshing to walk around Zhujiang New Town on a Friday afternoon. I finally visited Social&Co, a New Zealand restaurant that seemingly every foreigner goes to—or at least one with an extremely effective social media campaign: Free soft drink (25 to 35 RMB value) for a photo posted on WeChat or Instagram with at least three likes. With those #yum #food #vsco #Guangzhou hashtags, it was too easy.
Despite memories of people (my mom) saying that getting a massage right after eating isn’t good (or is that just common sense), I Dianping’d one anyway. (Dianping is like Yelp or TripAdvisor but better because it’s a Chinese app…and Chinese apps seem infinitely ahead of any Western app). There was one rated five stars literally around the corner on the 11th floor of an apartment building (surprisingly not as sketchy as it sounds) and with a discount for an hour-long back and leg massage from nearly 800 yuan to 98 yuan, which ended up coming to 82 yuan since it was my first time. I don’t believe for a second it ever cost 800 yuan, but it’s a nice attempt at a marketing tactic. As with most of my #CHINA experiences, the rest of that experience is for another post, but I will say that any massage that nearly puts me to sleep is well worth it. I walked out of there feeling pretty awesome.
Oh, and I got a free cake delivered to my room at the Garden Hotel from the general manager…yeah, tons to catch you up on.
In other news, I’m going to start studying for the GRE ASAP. If you’ve taken it or even plan to soon, PLEASE let me know your thoughts and maybe any advice for the exam or grad school. My top choice right now is UC Berkeley’s dual program in journalism and Chinese studies.
Hope I can crank out some more posts this week!