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The real LOA

Harbin, China

It's our 8th anniversary and we turned on the computer to find out we got LOA!!!!
So How did we celebrate?
Well with an adventure of course!
We went to Hamamas Kofi Haus.
It is a cool place with really good food. The owners are from Papu New Guinea. The food is as close as it gets in Harbin to real Western food short of McDonalds. It's pretty clean and the menu is great, you mark it yourself and then the waitress goes over the ticket to confirm everything. It is the only place I trust salad. The coffee is strong. They are closed Sundays, which is too bad because it is the only day Chris and I are off together. But today is Wed., so we went early for lunch so we could be back to teach a class at 2pm.
Then we went to St. Sophias to have our picture drawn by street artists. We had thought of having the whole portrait thing done, they make these hardbound books with couple's pictures in several wedding gowns and costumes and then add Chenglish. It is very Chinese and not suppose to be too expensive. Our daughters have had them done for free to advertise for the studios. I was worried that the gowns wouldn't fit our I would feel too self conscious and I didn't want to wear Chinese makeup.
So we decided on the street artists. it was quite nice actually. Business is pretty slow on Wed. at noon, so we chose our artist and set the price. We are sitting there with our guy and the other guys start drawing us too. It was quite interesting. At first I thought they were bored and just were doing it to pass time or put out as a display, but then I realized they were planning to sell these other pictures to us. Our artist was sitting quite pretty and the others were drawing their hearts out like it was a contest on survivor or something. What to do? We were really worried that it could turn ugly when these guys, 5 of them, all finished and wanted to get paid. We had just planned to get one. We kept calm and when it was over our guy showed us the picture and we got up and the other guys sheepishly showed theirs and they were just so strange that we bought 3 of them, 2 of Chris with a Chinese nose and one of me with a big Russian nose. One guy drew me with me nose (a huge one at that) wrinkled in an unattractive way, so we didn't get it. We paid the agreed price for the picture of us and the others we half of that price. So we didn't feel too taken, and they guys were so happy about it that I didn't feel bad. I sort of feel sorry for other foriegners that might find themselves in the same situation, because we bought them they will be more likely to try the same trick again.

Then for diner we had a little cake. I was going to make a homemade one but I'll save it for our TA (travel approval).

permalink written by  carseat tourist on June 16, 2009 from Harbin, China
from the travel blog: Life in Harbin as an American English Teacher
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