Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: mural

August 2019

In August I got married!! Well, legally married. In China, the process of getting legally married is usually separate from the wedding. We call it “getting the certificate” and it was a half-hour process of registration, after which you are officially husband and wife. The wedding often takes place after the legalities are taken care of, which is the case for us. We are still planning the wedding, which will take place in BORDEAUX in October, and while everything seems ready, at the same time nothing feels ready. It’s difficult to do everything remotely and distance definitely adds to the stress. A lot of uncertainty, but an equal amount of anticipation…

Right after J and I got officially married, we went on a mini long weekend honeymoon to Lushan (Lu Mountain) in Jiangxi province, which was right next to Hubei. We based ourselfs in Jiujiang, which is where most Lushan tourists stay. At the highly recommended Floral Hotel where we stayed for two nights, there was a small tea corner in our room, which was what attracted me to book here in the first place. Though the hotel was right by the main road, the closed windows served as an excellent sound insulation, and the room was peaceful and quiet, perfect for some relaxation time. Of course, J and I actually went out to buy tea just so that we could properly make use of this intricate little corner…or pretend to, at least. Fancy and classy…we tried!

Speaking of fancy, we had a candle-lit dinner…not by choice! When visiting our favourite Cantonese restaurant in Wuhan, there was a short power outage, and we were without light (and air-conditioning!) for about 20 minutes. While we waited, the servers lit a candle at our table so that we could enjoy some unintended “romantic” time, though I’d rather have a fan because it was 35+ degrees outside!

August was scorching hot but that didn’t stop J and I from exploring the East Lake on bike…always after 4:30pm when the temperature declined a bit. I didn’t realize this before but the East Lake was HUGE! We went cycling three times for approximately two hours per session, and I think we only covered about half of the East Lake Greenway. One segment had a long mural of random art, and this particular one of Lapras and Charizard caught my attention – and I think that’s a Krabby next to Lapras? There are surprises everywhere along East Lake. There shall be a post on the East Lake to come!

Next up, some photos of beautiful sky. I head west when I take the bus home after work, and when I reach the subway station, it’s usually just when the sun begins to set. As a result, I often see colourful patterns in the sky right in front of me when I hop off the bus, and some are quite impressive! Here a cloud was blocking the sun with its arm extended…or maybe the sun was wearing the clouds as a cloak and this was its idea of *smack my face*, ha!

Another view of the sky as I was walking to the subway station – how gorgeous are those clouds! Now that the sun is setting earlier and earlier, it will be harder to take photos like this because by the time I get to the subway station, the sun has usually set. Optimal time frame for photos at this spot: mid- to late August. Noted for next year…if I’m still working at the same company ๐Ÿ˜›

I love taking the train in China because you’re almost certainly going to pass by some amazing scenery en route. Sometimes you might also catch an almost-sunset, if you’re on the correct side of the train ๐Ÿ˜›

At Lushan, while everyone was busy taking photos of mountains and peaks (it wasn’t a very clear day so the photos didn’t turn out great for me), I saw this little guy chilling by a rock. I leaned in closer for a photo…or two, or three, or too many. Luckily it cooperated long enough for me to take a clear enough photo – and how pretty it was!

To prove that we went to Lushan and conquered the Five Old Men’s Peaks we took this photo. I think this was either at the second or third peak and my expression said it all: “It’s hella hot and I can’t feel my legs. Can we go home???” J’s expression was more like “I actually don’t want to take this photo, but we’re here anyway so we must take a selfie of celebration.” Let me just say that it was a VERY long day that consisted of probably 6 hours, 28 km, and 40000 steps of walking…all either uphill or downhill. At the end of the day my legs were shaking like mad and I literally had to lean onto J in order to walk properly. And my legs hurt and didn’t recover for an entire week afterward. Ugh. Never thought I’d fear walking DOWNHILL. An experience to be cherished, but maybe I’ll just stick to gentle hills in Scotland, thank you very much!!

We end with a group photo taken with DM (far left), a friend who visited us in Wuhan, and his friend XQ. We don’t get visitors often so it’s always pleasant to meet and chat when someone does come by. I think J was especially happy because he finally has someone to whom he could tell his secret guy stuff, ha!

As I write this we are counting down 27 days to the wedding…27 days!!! When the next monthly summary is posted I will have already arrived in Bordeaux…just the thought of it fills me with excitement!!!

More life in Louvain-la-Neuve

Back to Bordeaux for a week, and already I feel like I’ve left all of Louvain-la-Neuve behind. It wasn’t like this the other way around. When I went to Louvain-la-Neuve, I wasn’t able to let go of Bordeaux for a good two weeks or so. That’s the power of a city with streets you love and people you miss.

Sinking back into the French lifestyle was easy. All you have to do is…do nothing. Nah, I kid. I do have to work, but I have to admit that the pace in France is significantly slower than Belgium. In Louvain-la-Neuve, there were times during my stay that I felt like I was running out of time, that I wouldn’t be able to get any results with my experiments. Back here, yeah I again have limited time, but the mentality somehow just completely changed. I am way more relaxed and I convince myself that I’ll get everything done on time. I can take it slow and easy.

Blah. Is this my lame excuse for my own laziness? Perhaps, but I’ve learned enough time management to know better than leaving things until the last minute now. I think I can proudly say that I am slowly getting rid of my nemesis in university, named procrastination. It has improved a lot since then, and I am no longer pulling my hair minutes before a deadline. Thank goodness.

In terms of stuff to do outside the lab, it was almost non-existent in Louvain-la-Neuve. Upon my return to Bordeaux, I realized how lively Bordeaux is during the summer, with events and festivals all over the place! I am going to a Beethoven/Wagner concert next week, then Saturday and Sunday is Fรชte le Fleuve! Dance shows, outdoor concerts, and of course fireworks…I can’t wait to see what the quais have to offer this time!

Here’s some more on life in Louvain-la-Neuve, the last for awhile. The next time I go back will probably be October of this year, if all works out well.

Random sculptures found along the road during a walk through the woods near the city center. I found a lot of interesting sculptures like these scattered around the campus, each unique in its own sense.

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