Tuesday, November 25

Being completely right

Today I can only say I told you so! (not really to anybody but still)

My teacher told my class that we are her best class yet. We remember the vocab, we finish our homework before class (mostly correct), we are able to do short presentations on the spot!

Her last group never remembered the vocab always needed help with the homework and can only finish on chapter when we finished 4!
(Here she is referring to our new book that gives about 55-60 new words per chapter.)

I think she is a great teacher by far, but now I'm starting to think that my study skills have completely improved! I cut out everything non-Chinese until the weekend. but that turned into only Chinese everyday! consequently my Chinese has been great.

of course i can't bear to lose my Japanese so i'm going to start using my mixi and buy a Chinese persons Japanese text book.

Monday, November 24


Our school has cultural dances every Friday and Saturday night. I usually join in and then lots of students talk to me only saying Hello in English. It's funny because this past Saturday I went as usual but there were many more students that joined in. So of course I was more popular than normal. Then I thought about back home. My friends and I love to meet foreigners and ask the same questions that they learned from day one. Then we ask for they're number and maybe we'll actually call them out.

This time though I was bombarded by 2 very sweet kids. (Sorry I don't have their pics but I have a video lol) The girl was in 3rd grade I think and the boy was just a tot. This is when I noticed that children will never ask you those easy one liner questions. They prepare a whole speech or story! Their voices are higher and they talk faster making you feel like you better go back and study some more. haha But in reality, they are using the normal speech and speed that you should be used to.

Talking to them was a lot of fun. The little boy practically ran up to me and said
姐姐你是哪国人? (Big sister, which country are you from?)
With no fear of approaching a black person, like a lot of tots here have. So of course this made my day. He even called me big sister instead of Auntie (I'm still young) or whisper to his mom "a foreigner!" (which is considered slightly rude here).
[Most educated people know to say 小姐 or 美女 which are Ms.]

And so I write all of this to boast of course lol
I'm proud of myself for getting to the point that I can understand children and when they are treating you as an equal!

Wednesday, November 19

Day 4/5 Transition

We took a train to Xi'an西安. As soon as we got there we went straight to some museums...

I don't even remember off the top of my head,but it was a day of museums in a city I don't know much about with no tour guides...
You can imagine walking around looking at things and not knowing what they are for or the story behind them. It was almost meaningless. Luckily I can read a bit of Chinese but when they are explaining ancient things, there's no way to know what the new words are.
My favorite chubby statue lol

Oh well. I guess I can go back someday, because the city wall that goes all around the city was pretty awesome!
It even has a moat!!
We have the same eyes.
We are being completely crazy in front of the stone garden. (More pics on photobucket)

Tuesday, November 18

Day 3

We went to the summer palace. It was actually much bigger than I expected. I mean it's a palace so of course it's big but they built a man made lake with a small island and then has it's own .. mountain if you will.

We were free to roam so I made the best of it. (Again they only gave us 2 hours...shame) I watched a few performances and got lost enjoying the weather and the land and the new sights to be seen.

Again people took pictures with me but no one has ever ran to me to do it. The girl was so cute!

**Speaking of pictures. I saw one of the princess and her concubines...it just wasn't what I expected...**

Later we went to a place called the Silk Market and I bargained quite politely this time to get gifts lol Earrings
The shop keepers were a little more mild but they still have no problem trying to hold you until you buy.

This day I realized that you can tell people and their personalities intertwine with there money. A few people in the Shanghai program are good at spending like there's no tomorrow. With that the attitudes were quite uppity. certain foods are "unedible inedible or whatever" and you should "just take a taxi anyway. You may only spend 60-80 yuan."

Personally coming to China meant immersing in the culture to learn the language. That means try to enjoy the food...only thing is the food turned out to depend on where you go...what a concept. Then for transportation I learned the bus route. Only 1/2 yuan depending on the bus. I even got a monthly card so I can ride 40 times for 20yuan. If we had a subway, I'd use that. Only 5 yuan. Just in case the buses are down for the night or too packed.

I just want to say that just because you have money (in their case it's unlikely all their own) doesn't mean you have to throw it away. Also doesn't mean you need to scrimp and pinch it all. But the attitude you show to others is important if you want to climb the ladder of success.

[P.S. I thought to post the "earring" pic because sometimes we need to admire black girls with nothing stereotypically extra. But i wore a hat. I'll probably write about this later.]

Wednesday, November 12

Day 2 The GreaT Wall

The scenery is as beautiful as the books, the feeling of being in a part of history is amazing, the Great Wall itself is a great mountainous pain in my body and mind as I look up to see only more uneven steps and old people who've gotten a head start. (I'm just kiddin' those old people will always be honored in my book.)

I made a video in case death came upon me but I recommend people to work out and then go climb the wall. Some how I chose the more difficult one on the right rather than the on that was mostly a flat path on the left. But I accomplished a dream and shouted 'Go Jamaica!' at the top so I'm happy.(Yes thinking of you Papa ;p )

I also saw a young black girl going up and I was so happy she was there! Unfortunately she was cute and wore heels...don't know if she made it.

* Later we stopped by Olympic park but I was carsick somehow and I didn't get a good picture. Sorry.

**Then we went to an acrobatic show and it was good but I had to laugh at the boys who wore 6 pack costumes...

Tuesday, November 11

Day 1 北京

We went to Tian'an men Square 天安门广场 but it just an entrance to the forbidden city 故宫. That place was amazing, because as the Chinese name shows, it's not a city it's a palace 宫. Unfortunately we only had 2 hours in this great place and the map we received made it seem like a small palace...as if.

I did a good job of not being lost and decided that I can still be a ninja. You just have to know exactly where to go to get anything done. Of course being a foreigner a lot of people took pictures with me but this is the best time;

Guy: Can I take a picture with you?
Me: Sure thing! (Glad he took that as a yes, I forgot he asked in Chinese)
(while taking the picture)
His Mom?: Why do you keep taking pictures with black girls! What's wrong with those cute white girls?!
Him: ...
Me: ...

I wanted to hug that guy and say thanks for not being racist. It's amazing what people will say when they think you don't know their language.

*Later we went to a place called the pearl market and it turned out to be a big store open for bargaining. The thing is some of those people speak the rudest English and some grab and hold you so you'll buy their merchandise...I was not the one. I don't even bargain much but being grabbed made me buy something extremely cheap. ( I mean I took the price down about 80 percent. But I really needed a scarf there. It was windy.)

Overall I enjoyed the day.

Also go to my photobucket for all of the pics
user name: jamasianblog

This place doesn't let me upload the way I want.

Monday, November 10

Just so you know...

The first thing I saw.

It was clean.
I am a poor college student and thus took the train from Chengdu 成都 to Beijing 北京. It was almost forever!!! lol nah it was like a plane ride. Unfortunately I was in an area with 5 other chinese ppl. Which could have been a good thing but the only speaking ppl were speaking some random dialect so didn't talk to them the whole time. One lady was very nice though. She spoke to me a little and gave me some fruit because I had no food!! (SOMEbody forgot to mention that train rides don't include food.) It was okay though I had some snack money...seriously. The only thing I'd buy is snack because everything else is ridiculous.

I did get to walk down to my program buddies area though so I wasn't completely bored...I also did my homework. (I know I'm a geek.)

When we got to our hotel we met other members of the USAC program that are studying in Shanghai 上海. They were pretty cool people. we all went out for dinner and had Peking duck of course. I'm gonna say duck is miiighty tasty.

Sunday, November 9

Self realizations

I am sorry about the time missed. I was in Beijing北京 and Xi'an西安. Of course I will tell you all about them but first my blurb for today.

I just got back so I decided to go and visit the friends that I talk to just about 6 days a week lol and dive right into my studies.

I went to talk to my friends and they were like "Oh I missed you so much!!" and I even introduced them to one of my friends (who finally wants to start immersing) and one guy was like, "I really like her. She seems sincere." This isn't the only time I feel like true feelings have come out. In America I learned that China was soooo conservative they don't really show emotions, etc. But after being here I realized that they show only the truest emotions I have ever known. Maybe they feel too quickly even. They aren't raunchy with affection like some cultures I know, and I feel truly honored to be around them. haha Maybe the reason they don't say 'I love you (我爱你)' is because we all know it. Just by the way we express our feelings about one another and how we aren't embarrassed to let someone know 'Hey I have been thinking about you.'
(I like how I've unconsciously put myself in their category. Maybe it means I have changed a bit.)

I also did one of my Tibetan Culture essays today. The teacher has told us to make our own topics. 3 pages double spaced due by the end of the semester.
In China textbooks are a rare thing so I could only go off of my notes from this fast paced class and the internet (Heeey!!) haha
I have made the decision to use this method for all of my essays now. I have been doing it wrong this whole time. My essay seems better when I use my own notes and my own personal research. I don't want to use another textbook again! Those authors explain everything in such an uninteresting way...

All right I'll stop here and start the vacation post marathon lol

Love ya!

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