One of the things I'll miss the most about living in Beijing will be to be able to afford luxuries like frequently going out to eat and drink, and getting a massage from time to time.
There's a massage place right nearby the place I live that is awesome.
129 Kuai (approx. 115 NOK) for a two-hour massage: one hour foot massage and one hour oil body massage. I've been there a few times, and always kind of let them do their routine on me, not giving them any "special requests" (ay, this is kind of heading the wrong way, quick, get to the point). The massage is of good quality, but I've felt frustrated that they didn't work enough on my problem areas (shoulders, SHOULDERS!!), but I didn't want to be a troublesome costumer (unlike when I'm in a restaurant - God knows I've probably consumed my fair share of waiter-saliva and pubic hair).
The other they, having just finished a hellish week of exams, I'd finally manned up to go and request massage for specified areas (still shoulders). They of course took it as a given, and I felt really stupid for not having done it a long time ago.
The girl massaging me was so funny, and we chatted about how complicated Chinese women are in relationships and how abusive they are towards their boyfriends ("you mean, Norwegian girls don't hit their boyfriends??"). Chinese girls are really feisty. And bad tempered. Numerous times I've seen Chinese boyfriends receiving lash-outs in public, even having their girlfriends slapping them, pull their hair and pinching them. One of my class mates even saw a girl spitting on her boyfriend.
If physically abusing the one you love is considered as normal, than something is seriously wrong, I think. I'm glad I don't have a Chinese girlfriend, even though some of them are pretty hot!
Speaking of abuse.
As the girl was massaging my aching shoulders she convinced me to try Gua Sha, an ancient Chinese traditional medical treatment, which literally means "to scrape away fever".
It's supposed to treat various conditions as fever (as the name itself indicates), muscle injuries, stiffness, pain etc. by applying pressured strokes over oiled skin with a ceramic device with a smooth edge, causing a rash which color is said to correlate with the "severity of your state". (I'm obviously dying)
It's seemingly commonly used to treat fever in China, and in 2001 it was even made a move called "The Treatment" about a Chinese boy in the US that was taken away from his family there because of a confusion of child abuse when the gua sha marks was discovered on his body.
But it does not hurt at all.
Afterwards you're supposed to feel all relieved, and stuff.
What did hurt, however, was what happened next.
When I thought we were done, she suddenly pulled out a big tong that she used to hold a ball of cotton, dipped in some flammable liquid before she lit it on fire, and I was like "What are you doing with that?!", upon which she said "It'll only hurt for the first few minutes, DON'T LOOK, PUT YOU HEAD BACK DOWN!", and I was like "Oh, I don't want to die..".
Soon enough I realized that she was doing the fire cupping thing, which I had read about, that is supposed to promote healing by mobilizing blood flow, where she used the flame to create vacuum inside a bunch of glass cups that she put on my body.
AUCH! I had 23 of them on me, every one of them violently sucking in any excess skin on my back. I've talked to other classmates who've had it done, and many of them said they didn't think it hurt, and that they rather worried that the glass cups would fall off. Mine were not in the risk of falling off, that's for sure.
Sleeping on my back that night wasn't very comfortable, having 23 bruises. I do think it might have some effect (at least mentally, if not anything else), if you do this regularly. It was interesting to try it at least once, and I don't have any special need to do it again.
Besides, it left me looking horrible.
The other day a long sought after care package from Dag arrived in the mail.
"... repacked by Beijing Post Office"
I've heard that the post office in China open any package that goes in or out of the country: not only for what might be considered as "normal" security measures, but also to check for what can be used to spread, oh I don't know, ideas. For example, if you've wrapped something in newspaper, they'll take that away and re-wrap it for you - the same goes for packages heading out of China.
Don't regard any of this as a fact, tough, I might be way off.
The care package from Dag was filled with carefully individually wrapped belated birthday gifts - none of them seemed to be opened by the Beijing Post Office, haha!
I was so happy! Dag sure is a great friend.
I've saved all of the gifts for December, when I'll be opening one every other day until I go home the 18th.
Except for one gift that I wasn't able to save:
Yay, my fuchsia hot-pink mac lipstick!
Reunited at last!
I gave the one I had to mom last summer,
thinking that I'd easily be able to replace it,
which turned out to be impossible
But Dag tracked it down for me!
It was one of the biggest colors
for the past summer
- that's exactly why I'll be wearing it all winter!
Speaking of cosmetic products.
Recently I splurged on a couple of polishes from OPI (from the Miss Universe 2011 collection, if you're interested).
And let me tell you, OPI is way overpriced and the quality is not any better that most of the 1 dollar nail polishes I own, but sometimes it's worth the splurge because many of their polishes are so unique.
"Crown me already" is packed with
the same glitter in three different sizes
that makes your nails look like
"Swimsuit... nailed it!"
- love, love, love this!
One of the "Black car"-drivers
(pirate taxi) outside our building
and yours truly
Yesterday Lotte and I went to the China Science and Technology Museum
We took a regular cab
Inside the gigantic museum we spent a few hours pushing all buttons and pulling every handle we could find, together with all of the other kids.
And I got to design my own roller-coaster and then "ride" it in a simulator!
(Sounds way more cool than it actually was)