Wednesday, October 2, 2013

National Holiday (signs of fall)

It's National Holiday in China this week (国庆节), which means that our city is being flooded by tourists.  Yesterday, I went walking with my friend and we had the added bonus of maneuvering around tourists slowly making their way towards Purple Mountain, with the occasional map thrown in.  Since it's National Holiday, we don't have class this week - yay!  Currently, the Hubby and I are at Starbucks, and there are people everywhere.  The crowds are the main reason we don't travel during this time (though many others obviously choose to), however the crowds come to us so we choose, as much as possible, to stay close to home.  

National Holiday means it's October, which means that fall is slowly making it's way in (and likely in two weeks time will be headed back out).  The weather is gorgeous now.  About two weeks ago it finally started cooling down (and by cooling down I mean it's not in the 90's anymore).  Today it's around 80F with lots of sun and a nice breeze, coaxing even more people outdoors.  I'm thankful to finally be able to wear jeans.  I feel like I haven't worn jeans in four months...oh wait, I haven't. 

This time of year also means it's orange season.  I have no idea why that's a fall fruit, but over here it is. It started at the end of August with the green oranges (I have no idea what they are called, I just know that they are green), and soon the tangerine-like oranges will be out.  Fruit in China is awesome and there is an abundance at certain times of the year.  My favorite is buying fruit from the guy with his cart at the subway stop.  Yesterday on my way home I bought a pear and some apples, and then about a block later found the 米变花 guy (mi bian hua - it means rice or grain that changes into a flower, i.e. popcorn) and bought puffed rice and puffed wheat.  When I throw those together with some milk it reminds me of my favorite Kashi cereal, just instead of 7 grains I only have 2.  Needless to say, fall is starting to feel like fall and I'm thankful that the heat is going away.   

On a random side note (and because I feel I should include a picture in this post), we have been hosting Duck Dynasty nights at our place once a week.  Friends from across the city flock to our apartment for a night of entertainment and fun.  When I make popcorn or cookies everyone is happy, happy, happy.  Ok, I'll stop now.  But I feel you all should see this picture.  

Going back to the topic of fall, Starbucks here may not have Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but they do have Salted Carmel Mochas (and I might be enjoying one now as I type).  And I am determined to track down some pumpkin in the next couple weeks - both canned and an actual pumpkin, if I can find one. 

What are the signs of fall where you live? 

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