I always said that I would not be that person that would watch a television show or a movie on my phone. Nothing past a short 5-10 minute YouTube video.

Guess what I did a lot of this weekend?

Before stooping to that level, I spent the early part of Saturday with a lawyer from the firm, her daughter, her mother-in-law and my roommate at a major site of the 2008 Olympics. The most exciting parts were the "bird's nest" that many have come to know, watching people attempt to emulate a statue of women in colorful dresses carrying torches, and spying on Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they walked around parts of the park, took pictures with eager kids and then motioned to unsuspecting parents that they had to pay 10 kuai. All of this was done without exchanging one word.

More notably, this past weekend was the Dragon Boat Festival. When I asked people if they were doing anything traditional/special for the holiday, the best response I got was, "I'm going to eat zong zi."  So on Friday, in honor of them, that's what I did. I ate zong zi, "a traditional Chinese food made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves," (thanks, Wikipedia) that I dropped into hot water before eating. You never know what food item the inside will contain until you unwrap it, so I kept hoping for some type of meat. I ate that alongside some leftover egg fried rice as I prepared to catch up on an American television show on my computer. It sounded like a great plan until I realized I had no internet connection on my computer. Correction: I was able to log into Skype and also get onto QQ, an instant message/video chat network that's very popular in China. But, for some reason, I was not able to access any websites-- including my new favorite, youku.com (like YouTube, but based in mainland China). There were a host of websites that I was used not being able to access-- for instance, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, Twitter, Facebook, and occasionally Google (the worst!)-- but I wasn't used to not being able to access the sites I usually could.

So instead, I did some laundry, said a prayer before eating each zong zi, and looked through pictures I had taken the night before.  The same lawyer from the center that had taken my roommate and myself to see the Olympics site also took us to see a Beijing opera. It was the second opera I had seen since I'd been here, but the costumes were even more colorful, even more beautiful and the dancing was the best I had seen in a while. The movements were so controlled. I loved it. That evening also marked the start of a rainy weekend.

The work week had been a busy one. I had been narrowing the focus of my research, completing back-to-back translations for the website (zcpi.org), attending spirited meetings about legal intake and case procedures, and taking part in an inspiring forum about a young client who had received legal aid in her work injury case. Three-fourths of these activities occurred in Chinese, something I knew to expect.

The weekend before had included celebrating a fellow intern's birthday, riding on several rickshaws after arguing about the price, bunking with girls from England and Russia at an international hostel, and having my taxi cab driver accidentally take me to Gangcai instead of Fengtai. It made sense that by week's end, I was happily exhausted and searching for something simple, familiar, and on my terms. Somewhat on my terms.

And so.. we fast forward back to my phone. By Saturday night, I had had enough of my internet-less computer, but had also noticed that I was still able to receive emails on my phone. A lightbulb went off in my head, I picked up my phone, searched for Desperate Housewives on youku and-- voila. I was that person watching contentedly on my phone, savoring a piece that I readily identified as home.