- Who comes up with the hundreds of example sentences in a Chinese textbook?
- What would happen if that job were given to me?
- Why has the turtle who's lived in my shower for 8 years never been named?
- What should I name him?
Week three has come and gone. With it, I have passed the halfway mark of me being in 中国。It's exciting to know I still have three weeks left, but also kind of saddening. I only get three more weeks to shower with my turtle.
This week has certainly been one filled with new experiences. From using a squatter to eating frog legs, I've definitely gotten a bit out of my comfort zone. No, I did not eat the frogs legs whilst on the squatter.
Tastes like chicken
Some of you might be interested to know that I had my first official debate this week. And yes, it was all in Chinese. Booyah. We debated if whether the internet brings others closer together. I was on the "neg" side. Which is hard when I agree with the other side. Especially if the entire debate was done in Chinese.
I didn't win. Not even once.
I also got my first chance to do the Chinese yoyo here in China. Some guys in the park were doing the yoyo, and I asked them if they could teach me... It's good I didn't try to show off because one guy pulled out a giant yoyo and started spinning it around his neck like a ninja.
The guy posing in the background makes this picture
On Tuesday of this week, I got the chance to help my mom, a piano teacher, teach piano. It was really fun to see the Chinese way of teaching piano as well as giving my own input from my years of learning piano in America. I think the Chinese are surprised sometimes that Americans can do the same things they do. Sometimes better than they can.
After I finished teaching, I help my mom cook dinner. I cooked the fried corn.
After dinner, my mom showed my some traditional Chinese medicine she bought for my acne. Because my entire family and their turtle all seemed obsessed with curing my acne. So I've started putting it on my face. With my American meds, I never noticed a difference in my acne. With this stuff... it's about the same. No difference. But I'm not going to discount a six thousand year old method just yet.
the box says moistening and whitening. gulp
I've lately been waking up with really vivid dreams. Maybe it's because of all the new things I'm experiencing on a daily basis. For example, I had a dream World War III began while I was still in China, and my uncle, who flies jets for the Navy, flew over my school and began bombing our school.
Or another dream: There was a big slide in the middle of Zhengzhou and I had to cross the street like frogger dodging mopeds and buses so I could get to the slide, climb up, and... do something. Maybe slide down. It was a pretty legit slide. My friend Weston Adams was there. I think he was a life guard.
Or another: Mark, another American friend of mine, came to China. I met him in a Karaoke club and he was an amazing singer. But only because he was wearing special karaoke socks that gave him incredible vocal chords.
No pictures, sorry.
Another thing I've noticed about China - the weird smells on the street. It seems like half the time when I inhale, I get the aromatic smells of cooking street food and watermelon vendor cars. And the other half of the time, raw sewage and stinky tofu. But I can never predict when I will smell what. So it's always a slightly unpleasant surprise when I'm walking and all of the sudden a smell attacks me for about half a second. Then I'm fine again. But I'm sure I look like a bipolar American standing at the bus stop... My facial expressions changing about every ten seconds.
typical night market
The infamous cafeteria food.
Also, I've noticed that whenever my host family really wants me to eat something, they will tell me it's good for my acne, my cold, my 辣肚子， or my inner qi. I don't want to discredit Chinese medicine, but when it's rice, msg, water, and some seasoning, it's hard to believe what they are saying. I would have to guess that even though most Chinese people I have met are very kind to foreigners, they have no reservations lying to get their way. I don't they want to deceive me, they just think it's fine to say things even if they have very little proof. Just an interesting cultural difference I've observed. And I don't care what they say about the airconditioning giving me a cold. When it's 95 F outside, and more humid than frosty the snowman in a sauna, the ac stays on.
Last thing, the Chinese baby's reactions to foreigners is really awesome. Some of the babies I see here just stare as if we are aliens... which to them, we pretty much are. Others hug their parents as tight as they can until they can't see us any more. And still others point and yell at us excitedly. They get even more excited when I point and speak back. A conversation with them on the bus generally goes something like this:
2 yr. old: “妈妈，外国人！” [Mom, a foreigner!] (points and eyes widen)
Me: "外国人？在哪？" [foreigner, where?] (looks around)
2 yr. old: "....." (eyes widen even more）
Me: "大美女/帅哥你叫什么名字？” [what's your name?]
2 yr. old: "妈妈，他会说中文啊” [mom, he speaks chinese]（eyes cannot widen further)
Me：“我先下吧，再见！”[well.... i need to go now. bye!]
And that basically sums up all my experiences with people I meet on the street of China.
Well, I'm just about done. Hope you guys enjoyed reading this weeks post! If you have any questions about what it's like here, freel free to leave a question in the comments.