Friday, April 13, 2012

April 7; flying to Japan // flying in China

Day 62
NEWS: It’s confirmed. Kris, Cat and I will be Bitches in Tokyo this summer. Waku waku suru ! (excited)

As mentioned in a previous post, one of the requirements for my Comparative Literature course is to conduct research on  Chinese culture by actually partaking in something relatively Chinese. My group decided on kite making/flying.

Finding the little kite store was an adventure it self. After some time looking for the store, we eventually set our goals aside to take Yi, one of my lovely group members, to Beijing's famous hutongs area for the first time. It was actually my third time in that area and surprisingly I found new sections of the area I hadn't previously seen.
 We actually lost Michelle, another one of my lovely group members, who later called to tell us that she found the kite store. Relief. 
After browsing around the cozy little store and investigating the prices, we decided to buy a ready made kite since making the simplest kite (the generic diamond) takes about one hour.
Cheapest readymade kite = 30 RMB
With our new kite in hand, we headed over to Houhai Lake to test it out. Since our black and white butterfly shaped kite was looking a little pale, we coloured it with Yi’s pink and yellow highlighters. Proud of the new look, we decided to name our kite. After throwing a few names around, we chose BAMY (Bernard, Angel, Michelle, Yi).
Colouring BAMY
Prepping BAMY
My group : )
Yi, she's so sweet :)
 No one in the group actually knew how to fly a kite, but really. How hard could it possibly be? Well, it was a task and a half to get the kite up in the air.
BAMY gets ready to fly.
BAMY gets stuck.
BAMY takes a fall.
There was some realization that we were perhaps struggling. Okay, maybe “some” is a bit of an understatement. Other kite flyers/observers offered to help us fly our kite. There was a couple who tried to help us, a family man, and even the professional kite flyer who was flying a whole string of kites. All were not successful. BAMY just didn’t want to behave.
Nice couple giving us advice.
Nice couple trying to fly our kite.
Nice couple talking to professional kite flyer dude about the dysfunctional kite. 
We did have a few moments of success when the kite flew in the air.
There were quite a few people there flying kites of all shapes and sizes. The flyers were just as intriguing as the kites themselves. Kite flying seems to appeal to Chinese people of all types, whether you’re a child going with your family, a girl/boy going with your boo, or an elder hanging out with your other senior friends. It’s such a versatile activity and I’m glad to have experienced it. And now, for some people watching pictures:
Wedding pictures!!
This little boy had quite a few female friends.
interesting roller blade things
Little Angel said "I wonder why the butterfly is not flying"
After an afternoon with the group, two of them headed off while Bernard, Catherine, and I stayed to continue exploring the surroundings and find food. We wanted to admire the view from the rooftop, but the rooftops belonged to cafes and such which meant being a customer to enjoy the view. Instead of ordering something to admire the view, our new friend took one for the team and pretended to look interested in the menu while we admired the beautiful surroundings.
We had dinner on...waitforit... a rooftop!  It was my rooftop dining experience! (I was probably just as excited as I was in Korean when I was eating on the floor). After spending a few hours on the rooftop waiting, eating, and chatting, I can officially say I’m totally rooftop lovinnng.
Plate of fried rice = 35 RMB

After 3 weeks of avoiding cold foods and drinks (I’m still sick-ish), I finally gave in to dessert. We ended off the night with “Canadian” frozen yoghurt with mango topping.

What a perfect day =)

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