Last night the six of us here in Qufu were invited to a banquet to welcome all of the foreign teachers. It was a very nice dinner, and the food was delicious. I especially enjoyed the deep fried shrimp, which closely resembled popcorn shrimp (only they were much better). For the most part, the girls sat at two of the tables, and the guys sat at their own table, so as to engage in their custom of many toasts=heavy drinking. We girls sipped some very concentrated juice and Chinese tea. I met one of the ELIC teachers from Qu Shi Da, named Lisa. She was very friendly, and I enjoyed talking with her. I also heard about Lucy's speech, given to over 10,000 people. I really wish I could have been there to witness it. Kudos to Lucy for maintaining enough composure to carry out such an honor!
I now find myself with a stack of over 60 notebooks containing the most recent HW assignment from my writing classes. Needless to say, I have plenty to fill my "idle" hours.