No Skype AND no Sabrina?

Over the holidays, I heard from some friends that China was considering blocking Skype.  Apparently, that is at least somewhat true.

China makes Skype illegal

I’ve been writing to a woman from my current school district who’s teaching at the Hangzhou Foreign Language School (HFLS) right now, and apparently she’s still been able to use it…but I suppose it’s only a matter of time before China makes it difficult to use anything but their government-owned telecom company.

But how long can I go without seeing this happy face?!

Hmm.  Perhaps it’s time to learn how to use G-chat better.

In other news, I received my work permit from China today.  Tomorrow, I’ll mail my application to the consulate in Chicago.  And in (hopefully) two weeks, I’ll have my visa.  Because in three weeks from today, I leave.  Whoo!

And in other-other (sad) news, I learned today that Sabrina, the other teacher from the Minnetonka area who was going to teach with me, will in fact not be going to China.  I’m pretty bummed, because we got along well and I enjoyed planning with her.  But she made the best decision for her, and I’ll just have to suck it up and force the other teachers to be friends with me.

Luckily, I still have an in at the school- my Chinese friend, Liz.  Matt and I are going to dinner with her next week at Little Szechuan, this fantastic and pretty authentic Chinese restaurant.  And when I say authentic, I mean that the last time we were there, I was served an entire fish, buried in big flakes of ginger, tail flopping over the edge of the plate.  It was glorious.  But anyway, Liz is flying back to Hangzhou- her hometown- two days after I leave.  She’s also very generously invited me to spend Chinese New Year with her, her husband, and her daughter.  Here’s a picture of us at my Grandpa Hogan’s 80th birthday earlier this fall.

Those other good-looking people are (from left to right) my sister, Alisa, my mom (and then there’s Liz), my dad (and then there’s me), and my boyfriend/domestic partner, Matt.  I’m really going to miss my family and Matt- I think that will be the hardest part of my trip.

WHICH IS WHY I NEED SKYPE!  Work with me here, Hu Jintao!

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