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Harbin Trip Day 4 - Good Morning!

Good morning! Your flight has been delayed due to weather. You will know arrive too late to catch a train back to Hangzhou. Sucks to be you. Have a nice day!

Meh. Not that big of a deal. Already booked a hotel near the Pudong airport and a train back to Hangzhou the next morning. All good. Just means that our travel day turned into a day and a half of travel. It gave me a chance to plop down on a couch in the lobby after breakfast and finish up my day 3 blog. Perhaps my longest entry with the most pics and videos to date.

Aiyun and I just spent an entire week together. Our longest stretch of time without a break. I think we could both get used to this. Adversity wasn't abundant this week, but when it came we just sort of leaned on each other. A good sign. We got to the airport plenty early after her morning shopping and played some cribbage. She's working on the shuffling thing.

Cultural difference of the day # 1: When we were on the airplane to Harbin the stewardess saw us playing cards and told us we had to stop. No gambling allowed on the plane. The sight of a deck of playing cards meant gambling for the gal. Aiyun explained we were only playing a game called cribbage. It was all good.

Cultural difference of the day # 2: Aiyun bought some gifts for colleagues in her office. Mostly local Harbin food items. She came back to the room and I'm thinking, how does this make it home? We can't pack it in our bags. No problem. She calls an express delivery service. They show up and take the items away. No boxes. Just still in the bags. She pays the guy and communicates addresses using her phone. She also bought some for me and will have it shipped to Hangzhou. Total cost for both services? 70RMB, or about $10USD. They guy will take everything back to his office. Box them up and label them. Expected delivery across the country is three days. Cost of something similar in the states would be a ton more. Not certain, but I can't imagine a similar service for two cross country deliveries in three days.

Cultural difference of the day # 3: Aiyun doesn't know of the Beattles, Rolling Stones, or Pink Floyd. Her generation (Gen X) was shielded from western pop cultural back when we were kids in the 70s. More stuff I get to share with her. I'm sure there will be other huge divides in our backgrounds, but this one sounds like a fun one to share and learn about. Movies? She's pretty solid on lots of stuff from the past twenty years, but before that more big gaps. No judgments. Just gaps in both directions we get to fill gradually. Watching things like It's a Wonderful Life was pretty fun last month.

We finally bordered the plane at 6:00PM. Was expecting to be back in Hangzhou around 8:00PM. Oh well, we get to spend another day together. Aiyun had classes to teach on Sunday all day. It sounds like she will be forced to cancel at least the first one of the day.

Thinking back to yesterday I failed to mention the temperature. It was -20 degrees Celcius last night at the park. That's approximately -4 Fahrenheit. It wasn't hard on the limbs, but once you exposed a hand the fingers felt it immediately.

Sunday is feeling like laundry and a couple movies on the couch. Monday I'm back to work, but no students. It's an an inservice day for teachers. I was able to use enough of my break to make sure I was well prepared for kids when they come back on Tuesday. Basketball season will come to a close in three weeks. We have two major tournaments and that means a bit of chaos, but I'm looking forward to seeing how our kids compete.

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