Reliving My College Life

This past weekend I drove up north with a friend to visit our college for the big annual event our school holds every year.  I haven’t been back since I left in September, and I didn’t think I would ever be back for a long time.  Suffice to say, it was a very surreal feeling, going back to the town I spent 4 years in, and staying in the house I lived in for 3 of those 4 (with someone else’s things in my room!).

So for less than 48 hours, I got to re-experience college life- mainly, I could leave dishes in the sink overnight and not get yelled at, navigate hordes of barely dressed people reeking of drugs and alcohol, and deal with a little drama (thankfully, not my own).

I would write more, but that would be rewriting too many inside jokes and/or divulging the sensitive issues experienced by certain peoples of aforementioned drama, so I’ll just be very vague and just divulge some of the more interesting things that happened to me this weekend was:

  • Seeing for the first time a person barf and walk at the same time (a rather remarkable feat in my book, since I always freeze up and stay put when I vomit)
  • Getting lost down some hidden country road and winding up in a yard with rusting tractors, an angry dog, and a scary man sitting on his porch
  • Seeing a rather large meteor come crashing down from the sky- it was orange and green and almost looked like a UFO
  • Having cops stop in front of us and shine their flashlights in our faces (we were pulling out of the driveway and pointed the car on the wrong side of the street w/ the headlights on)

Ah, college life.  I do miss you at times.  But then I remember the days when I stayed up until 6 AM writing a paper and then I don’t miss it.

Here’s a photo I took on campus- isn’t it beautiful?  I feel like I took it for granted when I was there…

Cultural Cravings

As I said in an earlier post, the world is a small place.  I can enjoy (if that was ever the case) a McDonald’s burger in LA and in Shanghai, although one might be with BBQ sauce and one with sweet and sour.  And no, I don’t actually eat McDonald’s.  Are you judging me?  I feel like you might be.  Anyways, in a way, it’s a little annoying/disappointing/mind-boggling how easily I can procure American products overseas.  I want to get away from America when I go abroad, but it’s slowly becoming harder and harder.

Those golden arches are everywhere!

At least in China I don’t really worry about souvenirs, since it’s almost guaranteed that someone in my large family will visit China every year and can always bring back something for me.  If I ever feel like adding yet another scarf to my collection of 20+.

Of course, it’s not just American brands that are spreading across the planet.  I remember I bought some clothes in Paris from Zara, before the Spanish chain had hopped over to America.  I always felt très chic when I told people where I got it, but of course what happened the next year?  Zara crossed the Atlantic, and now it’s just as famous as H&M.  But clothes are more transportable than food, so having clothes from a foreign country can’t quite satisfy the same nostalgic cravings I sometimes get for my times overseas.

But once in a while, this spreading of products globally works in my favor, as in I actually get to enjoy something in America that I enjoyed abroad.  Case in point: last night I visited a restaurant I really liked when I was in Shanghai.  It’s called 鼎泰豐(Din Tai Fung), and I am extremely fortunate to live close to the one and only California branch, one of two in North America.  Of course, I can’t trick myself into thinking I’m in China, but it did satisfy that tiny part of me that wants to return to China.  The menu is obviously different (mainly the fact that I can actually read 100% of it), like having more Americanized Chinese food and a very limited selection of tea.  What’s up with that?  I wanted my chrysanthemum tea with rock sugar on the side!  I guess I just have to go back to China for the real deal.