Thursday, April 3, 2008

Changeable weather

Spring in Siping...beware of flying bags

My first year in China, I used to snicker a little bit when students would tell me, "Be careful, Miss Katherine; the weather is very changeable." The phrase "the weather is very changeable" just sounded a little bit silly to me, as did directly pointing out the weather's changeability. However, I now confess the validity in this statement. In fact, I caught myself yesterday remarking, "The weather is very changeable in the spring." Perhaps I have lived in China too long. However, I've learned that the northeast truly does have very changeable springs. One day you're deceived by balmy warm weather and the next day you have snow dumped on you. A couple days later the temperature will rise, but you'll be confronted with winds you would swear had the strength of a hurricane. These factors have led me to detest spring in the northeast--at least early spring. Spring does not evoke pictures of pretty flowers, little bunnies, and sunny days following a warm rain. Rather, spring conjures up images of dust storms, winds too strong to bike in, and unexpected snow showers. Consequently, I have concluded that fall truly is my favorite season in this part of China. A funny story from today. Each week I usually invite one of my classes over to watch a movie. Attendance isn't required, but I usually have about a dozen students show up. I always bake a snack, often chocolate chip cookies. Let me preface the story by saying most students love the cookies, and in fact request to learn how to make them. However, this morning I was messaging on my cell phone with one of the students coming over tonight. We were agreeing on a time and she was telling me how many people were planning on coming. This part of the conversation was entirely ordinary. But then I got a message saying, "Miss Katherine, could you please put less sugar in the dessert, we think it's too sweet." I quickly got over the shock that they would actually make that request (it's not all that surprising here) and refrained myself from the quip, "then why don't you pick something up from a Chinese bakery". I do understand that American desserts are much sweeter than things in China, hence why I like them. :) But tonight I will refrain from making cookies (which you really can't just make with less sugar) and instead make banana muffins. Sigh...crazy Chinese wonder they're so slender!

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