Monday, November 9

The End of a Blog

I was going to try to keep this one up with stories of how I got reverse culture shock, but that phase doesn't stay forever and neither can this blog.

I hope you have enjoyed the adventure past. If you have any other questions or comments about China, Chengdu, or Shanghai just let me know  jamasian3@gmail.com

Hopefully I can study abroad in another country soon enough.

Thank you for reading!!

Sunday, August 2

Moving and Economies

So we have officially moved houses here in Vegas and guess what? It's only a few streets down from the old house. I guess it's ok, but we seem to have too much stuff and no matter how much I say,"You know that thing (we don't use) is pretty old..." The parentals still keep the stuff.

I was just thinking about being in China and if everyone kept the things that were years old that they didn't use...It would be a crazy mess!! We should learn not to be pack rats! Only Keep the necessary.

Anywho, about the economy. My friend (who is Vietnamese) just got back from Vietnam and was telling me that they seem to just buy every name brand in style even though their salaries are not like American salaries. This is exactly what I felt in China (or pretty close to it). How can these countries live the high life while I struggle here jobless and without? Which country is really the third world country?

I encourage all to go out and tour a "poor" country to see what they live like. I promise that the majority of the people I came across seem to live a bit better than me! They may not make the money that Americans do, but they sure do live like Hollywood.

( I can't include myself cause I'm jobless :( and now I'm thinking of taking a break from school just to catch up financially.)
I hadn't thought I'd be jobless all summer long...

Monday, July 20

Low Down Dirty Shame

I am taking ENG 102 at the moment and the topic for one of my essays is vulgarity in the media. I must say that the young will never cease to amaze me. I know I'm young myself but I seem to be the only one my age that finds it classy or "hip" to be well mannered. I have been in my friends' households and seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, them cursing to or around their mothers. This is not to say that they are cursing at their mothers or calling them out of their title, but I wouldn't do this myself.

While I was working I overheard a few of my elderly coworkers complaining about the youth's disrespect and i just have to agree. It only leads me back to how much the youth is allowing the media to influence them. Although night time TV is for adults, there are many youngsters that have considered that the best time to watch TV because "none of the kiddy stuff is on."

In China there are a few choice swear words that are used without thinking much of it, but it is a very small pool. Then again i don't think they have that many to begin with. This could be my own lack in fluency, but the only time I encountered a lot of foul language I found it in a book. ( Yes I was reading novels and learned to curse from them.) It was unconscious at first because I just copied what sounded funny (Which I have always told myself is a shame and should never be done. Funny how the inappropriate words of all languages appeal to an outsider.) , but when I learned the true meanings of the words, I used them less and less. I didn't cut it all out right from the start because "it sounds funny"!

I'm glad not to have heard vulgarity 24/7 of my stay. It allowed me to seem well learned. I know that vulgarity also includes sexual nuances, but ever since China decided to try to defeat an evil, there hasn't been as outrageous of an outbreak as here. I applaud them for banning porn and whatever else just goes overboard.

***This does not mean they don't dress in any salacious ways. I have seen a majority in the mini mini department.

***I hope companies will stop subbing children's Chinese movies with foul English. We don't even have that in our own children's shows. Why mess up theirs?

Friday, July 17

Personal Sale!

I just realized that China did not participate in the past time of "garage sale" or "yard sale"! (Not like most places would have the space.)

I know that sound strange but this past weekend we had one and I was trying to get my mother to back out of the pricing part. Why? Because she made everything sand grain cheap!! I tried to persuade her to start the prices at a good price just below stores and then let people bargain, but low and behold some people in this country are so dirty they would say "how about $1."...

Are you serious? Even though we are in an economic crisis they had money to drive to our place and then the nerve to say "$5??!! Oh No!"
My mother let most people go and just sold the stuff, but the next time we have one, I will be the one calling the shots. It is not illegal to go trash digging so, those cheapos can just do that. and I will point them right into the direction of our garbage cans. (Bitter much? I just don't like people trying to make a fool of me or my family.)

***********************************************
I have been job hunting like no tomorrow up until last week. I have already landed a position, that I still don't know, for an exhibition company. We start paid training next week and should officially open during August. I am in the third stage of working with a hotel on the strip that will open in December. I applied for guest services representative and let them know that I'm fluent in Japanese and Chinese. Last but not least I feel that the interview for an attorney's office went well.

It's mainly because of the first two that I've stopped hunting. Although I want to start working today, I realize that a company will mark me unfaithful if I only work with them until August. No worries though. The plan has not gone completely wrong. I have some temporary work throughout the summer because I work in convention services. I can always wait until August and work full time for the exhibition company. School will start on Aug. 24th and then I will cut down to part-time unless they're willing to work with my schedule.

The problem lies with my December job in the casino. (I'm being positive that I'll get it.) I didn't realize that it was full time and thought, "It starts in December! That means I'll have a job during Christmas break!!" What I didn't think of is :
1. I am officially hired already for one place. How can I balance the two schedules?
2. I start school in January. That means I need to balance 3 schedules.
3. Because of my work ethic and desire to be held in high esteem, I won't want to quit from either.
4. I am not in the position to quit a job because I need to pay off school as I go. I refuse to do the loan thing. (My personal choice.)
I sure do make my life a bit more difficult each year.

I was doing good in China! I found a job/jobs with ease and I balanced school accordingly. Maybe it's because I was forced to live alone and I had paid for the year pretty much all in advance...

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I'll finish this post off with school. Thank the Lord I passed Accounting and now I am less tempted to switch my major.
I went on a scholarship hunt specifically for my language skills. I realize now that if I want money for speaking these languages I should switch my major to Asian studies or one of the languages. The thing is my school doesn't have Chinese or Japanese majors. Therefore I would choose to go to ASU Arizona State University. I think I'll try to talk to someone in that major that goes there and see what they think.

I need a college networking site. I want to be able to contact the people in another university even if it's in another country.

I'm not asking for anyone to hand me a silver platter, I'm just asking where I can get one.

Friday, July 3

A Stressful Summer Session

So almost as soon as I came back from China I decided that it would be a good idea to catch up in the summer. I took 4 classes people. It was too hectic. Today is the last day for my managerial accounting and political science class.

I have no intentions of becoming an accountant but low and behold I got a teacher who wants to "make a man out of" us...ok not a man, but an accountant. He is a completely harsh grader. This is my second time taking his class. When I got a 68% D last time, I figured the problem lied in my studies. This time (I don't have my grade yet) it seems like I know my stuff but there are little things here and there (like showing my calculations) that he takes big points off for. My second to last test I had my statements right and he goes but you didn't show your work. So I got a 70% on that test. He decided to make the final 25 multiple choice questions worth 12 pts each. I think this is completely unfair because when you miss one, you miss 12.

My political science exam was an essay so I was happy because it is there that I can truly show off what I've learned. After coming back to the U.S. I became interested in politics. Mostly because I learned so much about China's.

I have a research project due tomorrow for my English class and then that is over. And last but not least, Math....... will still drag on for another 2wks.

I am an international business major but I feel like giving up if I can't pass the business classes withmore than a C. So far I have only taken Business 101 and Accounting 201 for my major but I could only pass with Cs. I feel like I'm failing at life.

For one; I have no money because of study abroad and I had to scrimp and pinch for this semester.
Two; I may not take anymore school until the spring[or ever] because scholarships hate me. My parents must also hate me because they just refuse to help me out and fill out FAFSA so that I can get government grants.
Three; I refuse to be tricked into loans. I have no way to pay them back, so I just won't sign up.
Four; I have no friends in my major. I learn so much better when I can converse about a subject with someone from my class. Or someone who's taken the class...
Five; I am having serious China withdrawals. I speak in Chinese when I'm stressed and yet there's no one to listen.

Ok I'll let this go for now. I was contemplating starting a whining blog...but believe it or not, I'd rather be positive.

Saturday, June 13

Goodbye Dinner

In Chengdu I didn't go to our programs goodbye dinner because my friends took me out. i was so glad to experience a last night with friends...Chinese friends haha

So this time around I actually went to the dinner and met with my teachers and other students for the last time. It was great. I was able to sit by some good people that only ate the right amount of food lol
Seriously, have you ever been to a group dinner in which you share all of the dishes, but some people act as if they've never eaten in Life!! The food was very good and I was surprised because, to be honest, I didn't like big restaurants in Shanghai. Their food is usually too sweet.

So as we were all taking pictures and talking one of my teachers said, "Is that it?" And I told him we don't really say goodbye because we all have facebook hahaha
True that we may never see each other in person again, but if we need something we finally have a stable technology that can let us keep in touch.


************************************


The morning that I was supposed to leave, I called up my friend that is studying abroad in Bristol. I gave her a video tour of my host home and she got to see my host mom and brother. (My host dad's hours changed to I couldn't even say goodbye.) I left their home with Ayi and went to school. My friends had reserved a van to take us all to the airport. It was only 50 yuan per person. It was actually quite a ride! I hadn't noticed when arriving in Shanghai but a taxi would have cost waaaaaaay to much lol

At the airport we were all scared of our bags being too heavy because we definitely shopped a lot. Not like we bought too much, more like we don't remember how much we bought because we shopped at random and on purpose so much we just lost track...O.O

My plane in particular was on time. I got to LAX that I'd been hating on, but customs went by so fast this time that I was confused. I let them transfer my luggage and then I had a full 4 hrs to kill. What did I do? I got picked up by my amazing friends and we went for pizza and as much story telling as I possibly could. Then it was time to get back to Las Vegas...boooo.

My plane was actually on time. ( I'm starting wonder if everything is ok in the airline industry. I usually wait on random delays...) The problem was my parentals forgot that I was coming into town. I waited an hour and then called. When I finally got picked up I went straight to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and got a dozen. All mine. Don't touch.

And how did I feel? Like I was in the wrong place. I wanted to go back to China. I missed my friends the moment I said goodbye. And now I'm broke, jobless, and friendless...I think I planned my return wrong O.O






(I also have summer school. My next posts will be about my reverse culture shock. I must tell you about all of my withdrawals haha)

Wednesday, June 10

Next Plan In Life

Hello all of my amazing readers.

I am going to study abroad in Japan. I am hunting for jobs and scholarships everyday but I have yet to find a non-temp job and scholarships? Those all take so much time and are very tricky to win. Trust me. Thankfully I have found a way to fund raise for myself so if you can ( or you know somebody who can) Please help me get what it takes to live in Japan for 12months.

The total is $33,300 and the program I will be using is CIEE Tokyo. I'm going to take classes with local Japanese students this time around. I think that will boost my skills faster. I will upload their site so you can see exactly what I'm getting into. I will also upload the site that should direct you to my fund raiser.

Thank you so much! I will definitely blog about Japan and I will try to make sure it's better than this one. (Talking about how I still haven't adequately updated the last few days in China and the reverse culture shock of being home.) But not to worry! I have a lot more time now and I will start back up tomorrow.

Love ya!


CIEE page:

http://www.ciee.org/program_search/program_detail.aspx?program_id=55&type=part


fundraiser:

http://www.fundable.com/groupactions/groupaction.2009-06-09.6216557616/groupaction_view?portal_status_message=Your%20changes%20have%20been%20saved



P.S. I have only read 3 blogs of past participants but none have been able to network with me a little to know more about the program, so if you are a past participant, please let me know if you can answer some of my questions. Thanks again.

Saturday, May 9

Leave It All Behind?

I have been talking to my security guards more and I'm really going to miss them. They are my only Chinese friends in Shanghai. We laugh and talk and one guy complains to me all the time haha. We figure the differences with china and America and I get to look into their mindset. Sometimes it seems like they are blocking me when I say anything is possible, but I'm more aware now of why they would give up some goals in life. But overall I think China is doing better.

Another note that I want every girl to remember is that : Chinese men are not afraid to get close!!! It seems like one guy claimed me and so he was the only one to be so close that our hats touched when talking sometimes. I wanted to explain to him that in America we have unconcious space!! hahaha The others would wait for him to leave to get close but they wouldn't be THAT close. Oh well, I'm more comfortable now with my bubble being popped. I think it makes me feel more welcome too. I'm gonna miss that closeness.


My program friends and I went to the tallest bar/lounge in the world called Cloud 9. It was great we all dressed professionally, or at least no jeans or sneakers, and we ate and drank and enjoyed being upper class. Of course when we left we decided that we're all too young to enjoy that place often, for now, so we'll have to do it again in our late 30's or something haha :p

Sunday, May 3

Brighter X Day

This morning I got up a little late because of the slight fever. I still got up, ate breakfast,changed and then headed out to the X Games!! My throat was feeling much better considering it was morning.

i took the 812 and the 866 bus this time because I'd found out yesterday that 866 went to the back gate. Unfortunately the assistant on the bus told the driver that no one was getting off and I was too late to say, "wait I am!!" so I had to walk back to the stop. On the way I bought some snacks, because I tought they didn't sell food. Unfortunately when I got in the gate this time around 12noon I saw the BK stand...and a 7up or mountain dew stand....

Whatever! I marched happily over to watch the BMX stunts and it was pretty lame for a while then a guy from Thailand game and brought real competition! After him some Americans showed what they had haha It turned out to be a really good show towards the end.

I had been concentrated on trying to find my friends without moving spots but my phone had run out of minutes. Suddenly a really tall chinese guy (6'3?) decided to stand right in front of me...Do tall people not realize they are tall? Is it nnatural to stand directly in front of someone shorter than you? Seriously, I could reach out my hand 4in and touch him!! So I did and I asked him if he could move. He acted like I was rude...or maybe he was annoyed cause he got that a lot...but he should have stood off to my side!
After that I found my big group of friends and we watched skateboarding on the U台 (sorry I forgot the english name) Then we moved over to the In line skating to wait. While we waited I decided to watch the dirtbike stunts form our spot. (No need to get close when all the stunts are in the air.) But unfortunately about 10min into the show a biker got hurt so it was cancelled. Do you know the MC's were having to announce not to take pictures? Why do people video and shoot pain?

I decided to hold a good spot at the stage to await today's concert, but they started so late that I ended up leaving so that I could get a front spot to watch the roller blading contest. It was a great contest. So interesting! I loved how Japan brought the game but America took first lol I was excited about the way people were actually doing different tricks today! Yesterday I saw a lot of ...re-runs o.O??

Even though all events ended at 5pm, because of yesterdays rain the BMX still needed to do finals. So I was able to cheer and dance to the music and take crazy pics wth my friends haha It's so much better to be around people who are just as crazy as you are. They even wanted to go outside, after it closed, and tke pics of the winners with me.

It was a good day. I decided to go straight home and heal. I was able to eat dinner today more comfortably. I noticed that the pain was only extreme around 6pm and after until... maybe 10am. I'm pullin through though. No swine flu for me!

Saturday, May 2

And Then It Rained

The X games were pretty interesting. I have never been to one before. One of my friends from the concert showed up. Everyone else bailed out on us. I don't think events starting at 11 am are too early, but that's just me...

The first thing I noticed was that even though this was the Asia X Games there were other people competing. There were also more foreigners in the crowd. I suppose I haven't seen many lately.

Unfortunately there was no re-entry and we couldn't find food. It also started to rain and we stayed as long as we could but my friends jacket was not waterproof, plus I was getting a fever. At this point we ended up going to a place to eat but since I couldn't really eat, we went to DQ and got smoothies. I found out later that my throat does not need any cold!

After eating we went home. My family was eating dinner and I tried to explain that I didn't want to eat real food, but they all said that won't do! haha They gave me some type of sweet soup and told me to drink hot water. I am so thankful of how caring they are. My host brother even warned me not to get swine flu lol (Every one here is joking about it.)

Now that it's extremely early 10:30pm, I'm going to bed.

What a Day! and Night

So besides being sick and in pain I ventured out into the world to continue with my plans.

A friend of mine wanted so bad to see Jay Chou in concert and so I tried to help her out. I went to the campus early and got a massage across the street. After my friends were ready so we made our way down to the Shanghai train station to buy a ticket to Kunshan. [It's about 25min away by bullet train.] In the purchasing area we found that there are certain lines for certain cities, so we had to stand in the line for Kunshan. While we were there, we noticed that the line wasn't really moving. Why? The girls at the front were taking money from people who had just randomly walked up and buying tickets for them. I don't mind finding ways to make money, but I don't want to be inconvenienced by it. We had to literally push them out of the way and then decided to take a long time, pretending we couldn't read chinese, to buy our tickets.

After we went to get lunch but since I was having trouble swallowing I just ordered something small. **Funny story. I ordered you tiao (a bread stick like food) and I think it tastes like funnel cake with out the sugar. Therefore I wanted sugar lol I asked the lady for tang but I was so worried that she thought I meant tang . at that time I wasn't sure of which tone to use hahaha**

Finally we got on the bullet train. It was kind of like an airplane. I think it was new. Someone was sitting in my seat so I just sat next to my friends, but a man came on complaining so I ended up asking the people to move and taking my actual seat. He wasn't able to sit with his friends so I don't know why he didn't let me sit with mine...:( Oh well.

So we arrived in Kunshan but no taxis knew where to go!! The concert started at 7 and it was about 6:45 already!!! We walked down a random street and found a taxi (it was rush hour so almost all taxis were taken). A guy was going to grab that taxi but he let us have it. I thank him and said a prayer. The driver didn't know the exact place but he knew the area but as we were driving he noticed we were talking about the concert and he knew where to go :)

when we got there (6:58) my voice was going, but I wasn't worried because I'd never lost it. ***Notice: There are many people selling fake tickets in the open!! With cops around!!***We found the ticket office and the only tickets left were the ones we wanted to buy :) 380 yuan. And it turned out to be directly facing the stage. haha no need for front row seats.

Unfortunately the last train back to Shanghai was 10:28 and we hadn't been able to pull that friend away until 10:00. and of course there were no taxis...I was a bit chilly from that concert outside and my throat was killing me, so I did the unthinkable. I had some random guy give us a ride for 20 yuan. **Notice: There are 'unofficial' taxi drivers who bargain with you to give you a ride.** I know it's not common in America but I did and I'm still here. So....we missed the train anyway and I wasn't about to trust the unofficial van/bus drivers...We bought tickets for 12yuan on a 4am train. we had no passports so we stayed in the station. I had completely lost my voice by then because in my group they depend on my Chinese...I think I should start charging for setting these things up.

It was horrible to spend the night sick and in pain there but I survived. Now that I am home at 6:40 I have to try and sleep before my next adventure.

Friday, May 1

Today

I woke up around 6:30am without a restful sleep. I kept waking up through the night because my throat hurts when I swallow. Do you know how many times you swallow in a day? Without thinking about it no. I haven't been counting because it happens every few seconds.

I remember when I had this in elementary school. I was forced t meet that horrible substance called licorice root. Being a kid I thought I had struck gold! But licorice root is in no way a member of the candy family. Right now I don't know what I'm going to do. I also don't know what caused it. It was very mild yesterday but it was getting worse through the night. I want it to stop before I have the experience that my childhood gave me.

'Stay back fifth grade!!'

Thursday, April 30

Classes Beyond Due

I have been soooo busy lately it's not even funny. I was having quite some time situating things for summer school and fall semester. Then I began to worry about passing the japanese test for next year. I am going to study abroad again, but this time I want to be in class with people who speak my target language. This means I can actually integrate! But that's a whole different post.

While searching for blogs of past CIEE Tokyo participants I found exactly what I was looking for!! People who talked about the preparation and the classes they took and the school itself!
Most of the blogs are a few years old but one is for this year. The thing is while reading them and finding what I wanted, I realized that I forgot to describe those things here! I have reported too much culture and not enough info for people looking to use the USAC China programs!

So here goes:
This semester I took Advanced Chinese track 2. I liked that that class used a textbook that gave us articles to read. Real life stories or articles that real people have had published in books. It made me feel as if all of this learning was really paying off...No! I mean IS paying off haha We even started a "newspaper" textbook.
The only thing I didn't like was going over the passages line by line by the second half of the term. Then the homework was cut down because we did it in class! How do I know I improved if you do my work for me? You all know how this final went. Test and speech.

I also took Managing in a Global Economy Emphasis on China. That class was my favorite actually. Just because I was learning so much about the way things work in business. The homework was light but it was ok, we were also able to have class discussions about the real life cases that were related to the chapters we talked about. I didn't feel lost! There was one presentation, a final exam and an essay.

My second favorite class was U.S. China relations. Our teacher was very knowledgeable and most of the questions we had to ask got answered. The homework was reading different people's views on certain topics, and it was a lot of work, but wasn't graded. I feel kind of cheated by that because there is no way my teacher will ever know that I read those things!! and that I really did learn a lot while taking this class. The worst thing is the only grades we will have are 20% participation and 80% final paper that's 4-6pgs.
Most of you may think that's the easiest class ever but the problem is college professors NEVER like my papers!! I just don't understand why. Also if you were thinking I can show that I did my readings through my paper, think again. Our topics have to be unanswered questions. Something with little information on them.


I also liked taking China Phenomenon even though it was a complete lecture class. Only the teacher talked unless there was a random question. My teacher for this class was like a walking history of china book. I learned so much about china that I will never forget. I thank him.
For assignments we had 2 presentations, 2 500 word essays and a 2,000 word final essay. All on whatever topic you wanted that was covered in class.

TaiChi was a very nice class. It didn't go into the details of TaiChi but it sure was a great "fun" class. My teacher was so energetic and I just know that if a real fight broke out she would kick be-hind! haha Our final was us presenting the form and her recording it. Then we will do it one by one recorded.

I took these classes because they interested me. If you want some more details on the classes please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Overall they weren't as bad as some people complained. They had me thinking, "If you've already taken this class or already know so much, WHY ARE YOU HERE???"

Thursday, April 23

Not All Peachy Keen

I can't believe I have to write this but since it has happened lately I must.

One day as I was meeting some friends in the dorm lobby, the snack lady shouted, "Hey! You owe me 2yuan!"
I was confused because I hadn't visited her store for quite a bit.

Another day I was with some friends in a restaraunt near campus. There are quite a few around campus so I'm not a frequent at any of them. This particular day after we all had finished eating, someone was accused of not paying enough.

An other day I swiped my card on the bus and it said that there was no money on it. As I was trying to be subtle and not embarassed by that, I looked for some change to pay. As I did this the bus driver was looking at me suspiciously, so I held out the change and put it in the slot.
Then he laughed and said, "Oh you understand Chinese then haha."

Why do I write this? Because these things are happening to me! It's rare but it's happened twice this week. I felt like I was being accused because I was black. It doesn't help that I read an article that talked about an African guy and some of his friends who always tried to cut deals or skip out on paying for things. (He has frequented Shanghai for 8yrs and can't speak a lick of Chinese. It was written by a foreigner.)

So I want to say: Please black people, be trustworthy when it comes to paying for your mess.

*Note: the store people told me that it wasn't me, but a girl who looked like me. I realise that when you don't see much of a certain race, guess what...THEY ALL LOOK ALIKE! and I don't like to be blamed or called out for other people's actions...

Thank You.

Tuesday, April 21

Culture Fair Pictures!!!

The long awaited pictures are here~ haha
Even though there are a lot for you to view here, I still want to make you go to my photobucket and look at more! Just search for jamasianblog. I will try to use this week to completely fill it up haha (I have procrastinated long enough.)

Only us 5 Yanchang classmates did TaiChi that day but we did it with a bang!
This is an awesome man. We call him Zhang Laoshi. If it weren't for him, people in my program would never know when cultural events are taking place. For some odd reason USAC doesn't help us integrate.
She is from MADAGASCAR and she is so cute. A lovely personality.

Me heading Paddy the Green Dragon's parade lol I am going to miss the Irish. They go to my school so we are friends.
The Irish, Mexicans and a black and white girl reppin AMERICA haha We are so silly.


They go to my school. That's why I can hug them. ;p


hahaha ECUADOR
KOREAN TABLE
 

I think this is VIETNAM

These two are from mongolia. Unfortunately the girl in the queen dress is a smoker. I was thinking she was so pretty before I saw it.

I'm sorry I'm not sure of their countries.

Monday, April 20

Cultural Fair Day 2

The next day my Tai Chi teacher wanted some of us to perform with her other classes...We got nervous because we hadn't practiced together before. There were a few groups who were showing off Chinese culture that day too.

While my group was waiting a little girl came out with her adopted mother and they asked me where the bathroom was. I told and the little girl said, "Wow! Your english is veeery goood!" and off they went.
...
Offense! Didn't she recognize my American accent! I have become soooo patriotic about my background here haha. I am constantly letting everyone know I am American. Especially since one guy from Algeria kept trying to get me to speak some random language. It was then that I decided to let people know that my family is Jamaican! I just don't understand why he kept trying to talk to me!! he didn't even use Chinese!

Anywho. We went out to perform and it was pretty good. People cheered so I didn't feel too out of place. The four people who came with me; we are from the Yanchang campus, so no one at Baoshan knows us. It would have been very uncomfortable if they didn't perform with us.

Actually 4 Baoshan students know me. I met one that yesterday and 3 more called out to me while performing *Big smile!* (I was so glad they remembered me, because I had been thinking about them all.) There was one more person who might remember me but I didn't see him either day. Now that I'm typing this I must admit that seeing them gave me a sweet for sour feeling. Why? They all knew my name!!! Why for the life of me couldn't I remember theirs? I'll tell you. My name is simple! These people all come from random countries that speak random languages!! haha ok. The guy from Laos is easy to remember. Maybe that language isn't too hard.

Saturday, April 18

School Culture Fairs In China!

You know, back at my home school they were doing the Carnival of Cultures. I must say that is one of the most boring events...I feel like people should enjoy their background so much that they think of everything in the book to show it off that day. At my school they are mostly interested in how much money they can make. -_-


Well we had a Foreign Culture Day on the Baoshan campus of Shanghai University and it was bomb! There were so many people representing their cultures; Mongolia, Cuba, Thailand, random countries in Africa...etc.etc.
I was so pleased by how everyone made an effort to wear their traditional clothes, sell their countries special foods, play their cultural games, and dance or sing. Never have I had so much fun at a mulit-cultural event.
Even more amazing is, we used a lot of chinese to communicate lol Now you may be thinking,"Duh, you are in CHINA!" but please believe me when I say, it seems like everyone and their foregin moms speak english. No matter what country they are from, most foreigners use english. (Freakin' punks)
I love using Chinese as much as possible. So whenever I went to a new booth, be it India, Laos, whatever, I would greet them in 你好!And they would explain whatever they were showing off in chinese to me. (Only one girl switched to english for me...I was only slightly offended, because you must realize that not everyone has the same level of chinese haha)

Something I want to point out. Everyone talks about how disgraceful black dancing is and how the women shake so much of this and that. Guess what? Cuba, Mexico, and Mongolia were shaking like no tomorrow and "getting low". It seems to me like a lot of cultures use their hips to dance which accentuates the hind quarters. Therefore I ask that everyone stop bad mouthing black dancers! (Of course there are always exceptions to each culture. Some people do too much haha)


I also finally got a good impression from some Africans! They were so kind and one guy was excited to tell me his stories of the ridiculous things some Chinese people say. Here is one joke: There was an African married couple who decided to move to China and start a business. The woman was pregnant and the day she delivered at the hospital, out came a beatuiful pale baby boy. "You have a beautiful baby son. Don't take him back to Africa or he will turn black!" Warned the doctor.
lol That cracks me up! There are still some people who think you can only turn black by being born in Africa.

All in all it was a good day. Pics will come later because my camera is full!
(I'm sorry I'm behind on the other pictures too. 太痛苦了!原谅我!)

Wednesday, April 15

Banking In China 2!

I feel cheated!!
It costs 20 something dollars to transfer my money to my american bank. That american bank charged me 10 dollars just to accept it!!

Why! Why does this happen!!! Money! Why do you let them use you like that?

Well I only wanted to post this to warn Wamu users. I am very satisfied with that bank, but now that they've charged me that extra 10 USD just to recieve that money...our ship of friends! It seems to have come to a halt!

Lesson: CHECK YOUR BANK POLICIES BEFORE YOU LEAVE. (haha i should have told myself that but i guess a shocking learning experience lasts longer.)

Saturday, April 11

Banking Between Two Countires

I went out today with the purpose of depositing money in my american bank account from here. Here are things you'll need:

**Only Bank of China 中国银行 can deal with foreign currencies.

**You must bring your passport whenever you're going to change currency, transfer funds or open an account. (People forget it all the time)

**First talk to a worker at the small desk because they are the only ones with the forms you'll need to transfer money. They should also help you out.
Since they will suspect you can't speak chinese they will not really want to help you so they may seem standoff-ish. Most people are embarrassed even if they have good english skills. Ask them if you need help. If you can speak chinese let them know. It saves for you headache.

**As of right now they charge 200元 for transferrs. That's about $30
I use this site before moving money and it's been awesome: http://www.xe.com/ucc/

**You'll need to provide your banks address, account number and a swift code. The code will be provided to you when you call your bank. Some banks will have a different code if they don't accept foreign currencies.

**You must know your address here too.

I think that was about it. It doesn't take long.
If you want to know something else dealing with the bank let me know and I'll see if I can find out for you.

[By the way, some people have informed me that they can't post a comment. Regretfully, I don't know what to tell you. Maybe you have to sign up to blogger.]

Wednesday, April 8

Other Black People

This is a continuation of The Last Day Of Shooting.


After the show I got a ride to the metro and talked with my boss. She told me I would receive a dvd and photos from the show...(I better stop delaying posts. I can't remember if she said photos.)

She confessed that she hadn't understood why we lost the singing competition. I explained in chinese. Then she talked about how unprofessional those judges were. She told me that all of the staff thought we should have won. It's ok. I would have died if they put a snake on me.

Did you know: I sang during the practices with no emotions and absolutely bland. Why? because I as still trying to get used to singin rock. Of course when show time came, I put out. That's just how I am. Mostly because I hate to here "you didn't do it that way in practice" or "you change the way you sing it so many times" so now I make it obvious that my practice won't be like my performance.

Anywho when I got to the metro I was on the way to meet some other friends...yes he black people that my title referrs to. They had been shopping around Yu garden. I found a skirt that I liked and a dress that I didn't need and bought them. I had feigned ignorance and disinterest when the worker told me the dress was 98yuan and the skirt 147yuan. I got them for 40yuan apeice, but I'm thinkin I should have done 30. The quality isn't that good and I know it. But it's nothing I can't fix.
The worker was mad because I used a 100yuan bill to pay for the dress. Then she asked about the skirt, since she felt she'd been cheated, and I replied in chinese that 147 was ridiculous and I couldn't do it. She half scolded me about not speaking chinese sooner but she really wanted to sell me something else since I was making it so cheap. (I just thought this was kind of funny. I go to bargain places sometimes because the quality is bad but it's not far behind some things in a store. For the most part you just have to cut the extra threads off.)

After the others wanted to go to a japanese restaraunt. I helped them tell the taxi drivers because they are all beginners abd haven't mastered the tones yet. I was happy because they were practicing.
We arrived at Haiku and were informed that we only had an hour to eat because the place was booked! We sat and talked a bit while scoping the menu. I decided on Chicken bowl because my friends and I go to a japanese restaraunt in Vegas and we eat the same things each time. The chicken bowl brought back memories.

So when everyone else ordered they used as much chinese as they could. I was happy. (I had just pointed to mine.) The food was delicious. I just listend to the others talk since I didn't find a reason to stop eating. haha I did stop twice. They were mostly talking about how they should have went to japan. I was almost going to join in but I was afraid. As most of you know, japan is one of my oldest dreams and i was regretting a bit for not going there at first.
So why not throw in my 2cents about loving japan? Two reasons.
1] The workers here do speak english. no need to make these chinese people feel bad. I like china too.
2] I am still in shock that black people are here interested in chinese like me. They are practicing and everything! Now thy like japan too!? This is too much for me. I was made fun of by blacks for these interests.

Anywho, I was so happy to be around people of my color. They all come from the same school and are from a different program but I feel like they are good people. I'll try and hang out with them more.


Before I forget: Most of the group are girls so I'm extra excited because I feel the world should acknowledge black women more. I just feel like no one sees us. We are doing good too. I want to show off black women and boast about them.
That was just running across my mind today.

Sunday, April 5

Last Day Of Shooting

Well I have waited long enough lol (it's really Apr.08)

So we were too meet at 9:30 outside of a subway stop. I was 3rd. My partner and the other chinese girl were there. My partner was practicing again, bless his heart. I wanted to paint my nails and the girl offered to do it for me since she was a professional. I'm not sure if she was joking but she did a good job.

A van came and got us. We entered a real studio! I thought we'd be performing in some random place. Inside there we were to get our make-up done. I didn't know make-up was so complicated. I was also worried about the products making me a strange light color. The lady did a very good job though. She even put something on my bottom eye lids. I was scared she'd poke me but I suppose this is why she is a professional ;p

We went into the studio to do a practice introduction of ourselves. This is when I found that we were going to do the "quiz" as well....We ate lunch and then got to business. The first thing we did was the introductions. My partner messed up a few times because of nerves but he got the hang of it.
One of the camera guys was taking photos of us and when it was my turn he didn't direct me he just said, "Okay make some good hero poses" ...(I'm sorry I don't think he said hero poses, but whatever he told me, I remember making power poses. Like I was ready to kick butt! Yea haha) In any event I did the poses and he just kept snapping. I was wondering if he just randomly thought I was accustomed to modeling because he just snapped when I moved and I felt like I was modeling. Oh well. I hope the pictures were good, because I seem to have more than the others. Nervous.

So after the intros we changed clothes and came out to perform in front of our English judges. The other group went first. Then us. While we were performing I heard the judges laughing but at the crew was applauding. There was no audience. So when we finished the host asked the judges why they laughed and they said we were...bad...horrible...awful.

I know. I felt bad because my partner doesn't speak english and yet all of these criticisms are being thrown out. Don't worry the host translated for everyone since this is a chinese show. They decided the other team had better outfits so they won.

At that time I thought of 2things. 1 the program picks the outfits so their win was unfair in that sense. 2 Did we lose because I'm American??
They commented on bad vocal skills but the only one out of us 4 who can actuallly sing is...you guessed it. Me. How would it look if I left my partner behind and stole the show? I made sure to miss a few notes so that I blended with everyone else. I know you may think that's stupid, but you have to consider the show. If you have to sing with a non-singing person, I feel that you rudely embarrass your partner if you sing normally. Don't forget this is television.

After that we changed clothes again and did the quiz... It was about England things of course and since we lost we got to answer first. Sadly it was about sports and I had no idea what the anwer was. It turns out that fencing is not an English sport. I had said tennis. Then we were blasted wth cold air. It was funny. It turns out my partner knew the anwer but had no confidence in it....ugh.

The next thing we did was the old fashioned make them laugh game. So my partner and I were trying to make the other team laugh. And with time running out the host came to help. He put a snake on the guy's neck and then brought out a tarantula. But the guy held fast, I think he held his breath actually, and he won the game. The girl laughed so she lost.

In the end the other team ended up inviting us out to spend the money together. I'm not sure if I typed it before but I met some good people through this game show. The only people I could have done without were the judges and the lady host. She was pretty cold. Not just to me but to all of us. I think she's mistaken about how famous she is...not haha

ok i'll finish the day on a different post.

Saturday, April 4

Practicing Does Not Always Make Perfect

Today!

I spent the morning watching a chinese cartoon. Then it was off to practice the song with the partner! I had to go to his place so again I spent money on the subway but! I found out that this family has a car!! How? My host dad was on his way out so he gave me a ride to the subway station. I was shocked but I shouldn't have been. I think every normal family owns at least one car. They are middle class after all.

I met my partner at the stop by his house. We took a cab from the station to the supermarket. His room mate was going to cook for me. So I picked out some food and then the 3 of us walked the short walk to their apartment.

It was a small 2 bedroom one bath one kitchen no living room. For their privacy I won't post their specific apartment but I'll see if I can find something similar. They made it cozy though.

We practiced for a long time on that danged Satisfaction. My partner doesn't feel music and can't sing. So for a singer like me it's kind of hard to try and perform together. He mostly wanted me to help him on his English pronunciations. Then he wanted me to cue him in for all of the chorus parts lol We were able to laugh and talk and watch a little bit of the program we are working for. We were playing the song over and over in between time. Luckily his roommate liked the song, (it is a classic) So he didn't mind.
We ate dinner, which was pretty good considering that he taught himself. And then took pictures which I will post later. Then we practiced for one more hour until I was accompanied back to the subway station. I prayed that he could count on me to help us win this challenge. I am good at singing after all.

Since I'd called out different friends I went straight to people's square to meet them and the 3 of us went to take.... Puri Kuraaa~~~
I think I've gone crazy.
I will also load those later.


I had forgotten that the buses stopping by my home are off the clock early so after waiting until 11pm I finally realized I'd have to settle for the one that at least stops on the end of my street; a mere 20min walk away from home. I decided to take one of those special carts since it was pouring rain.

It was a bumpy ride but I was kind of fun. For only 5 yuan I can drink milk tea. I drink this often. I have decided that since the cart ride is only 6 yuan I may skip the tea every once in a while. Yep. I'll be lazy. I don't care.

Friday, April 3

Final Exam And No More Chinese

That's right. This morning I took my last chinese class.
This time it was more difficult. The writing part. We had to do the thing where we finish a sentence with a specific grammar point but those questions were so strange! All four of us were stuck on the same things for the 2hrs and then rushed the reading. (We can scan pretty well by now :p ) So the teacher ended up giving us hints as we were 15min over.

We waited while she graded them and you know what I got? 79% . I wanted to stick myself in a pot of depression but I need to wait until my parents send more money (Haagen Daz $) and the game show is over. My overall grade is 87% but I really take it hard when it comes to tests. It's supposed to show our knowledge but...

My friends and I went out for lunch before they all go on their magnificent trips outside of China for spring break. What? You think I'm bitter? I can be bitter towards myself! I should have worked another job so that I could have the extra cash. The school should have paid me my scholarship by now. But neither has happened.

After lunch I decided I could buy some cream puffs for 4.50 and then went home. The creams puffs did ok for a pick me up.

Thursday, April 2

Practice Shoot

Today I got up early and went to my Chinese Phenomenon class on time, but yet again our teacher was 15-20min late. I don't know whether to pity him or be angry. (I'll stick with pity.)

Anywho, after class I used a friends computer to review my dvd and cd. well the dvd was ... great i guess. I mean, it was a Rolling Stones concert. Then I put in the cd to discover that they gave us the song we'd sing! Made me wish I'd studied it during that outing between classes on wednesday. -_-

I reviewed the song a few times and then recorded it with my camera so I could watch it on my sub ride. Of course when I got on the sub I chose to just read the lyrics instead. This time I took the subway line one to the train station and actually exited. I had no idea the place would be so big! I was at a loss to find out which bus I needed to take. Then a guy was asking if i'd wanted a motorcycle ride and I told him i preferred bus. To my surprise he pointed the bus out to me.
(I felt kind of bad because when I heard him reply, "I'll tell you where to go" I thought he said "take me where to go". so I ignored him the first time.)
Anywho, I walked across an open area across from the station and a man asked if I wanted taxi or bus. I said bus and kept walking even though he kept talking. So when I arrived at my stop I was a little confused as to which side of the rode I needed to be on. Another man asked me taxi or bus. I said bus. He asked where to and I said I don't know. Then remembered the address was on my phone. I showed him and then he told me to stay there because i was in the right place.
(I hope I felt on top of the world ignoring the people who were only trying to help. I realized this after the 3rd guy asked taxi or bus. But you have to understand that some people are not really trying to help a foreign girl. I will not prejudge next time.)

Though I had boarded the right bus I got off at the wrong stop. I heard a similar name and didn't see a sign so I just got off. I decided I'd better taxi it to be on time. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be cheap.

Surprise!! only the sound men and my partner were there. so the crew was kinda late and ordered KFC for us. I told my partner what our song was but he hadn't heard of it before. He only watched the dvd. I felt like we could have had an advantage because the other team hadn't looked at theirs....

We were shot being showed what songs had been chosen and we 'picked' with one we wanted to sing. Then they filmed us going over the lines together and practicing a little bit.

Before we left though guess what?.....

That's right! interview time. I was confident this time when I went in and the camera wasn't as close. The problem? I had to fish for words this time and 2 times I didn't understand something. Shame!!! I want to study until fluency and come back and do a few more shows just so everyone will remember my good side!!!

Wednesday, April 1

An Involuntary April Fool

Today I went to my last normal Chinese class. I did a speech on in-laws but since I have never been married, I just took into account others' relationships hehe My teacher was surprised that there are similarities in both of our marriage cultures.

After class I decided that, instead of studying that DVD, I'd go to lunch with some odd friends. Odd as in it's rare for us to hang out. We toured a random underground shopping district in People's Square and we found プリクラ!!!
Puri Kura is nothing but taking extremely cute pictures, decorating them, and then printing them out and posting wherever possible!! I will try to upload it here so you can see for real lol

I went to my US China relation class and that guy had planned the lesson so that we could talk about Taiwan. The only problem is, I'm sure not many Americans know anything about Taiwan's history unless it involved us...

On the way home, the night 'market' called me. I was determined to get some new socks and then i was determined to get my brother's perfect gift!! I found socks that looked good and one I bought just because it had foot padding. Hilarious! I've never seen that! Well, the gift is not that perfect as in it's not a sword, which he likes. It's a shirt with a funny saying. (Unfortunately I realized at home that he guy gave me the wring shirt. The characters were mixed and it changed the funny meaning. So yes. I will go out and re-buy the shirt, but I won't give up 20 yuan if it's that guy again!!)

I have noticed, only now, that there are no Chinese sayings on clothes...no characters at all. But if it's Korean, Japanese, English, or French, you'll find it. It sucks because I want to buy "Chinese" shirts and low and behold I've only found my brothers' (and the reversed version).

I came home and was thinking of watchin the DVD but I watched some Japanese show instead....my partner will be disappointed if I don't get it down.



*******Utterly unimportant but for a little while now I've been comparing my work habits to my favorite Actor Lee Junki.....No I don't know anything about his working habits, or anything at all. But from the time I started watching him he has become more and more flawless: faultless, immaculate, impeccable, perfect, unblemished
I must get to that level one day. Actually not his level since he's still progressing, but I need to work like that.

Tuesday, March 31

Foreigner Be My Guest

So I was able to interview for a spot on a game show a while ago and I was hoping to have done it and be paid last week. Then I would put the money towards spring break in Korea!![next week] (For some reason Korea is becoming another dream...)

Anywho, I was finally called and they'd asked me to come down today. They didn't say what to wear or do or anything really. Just time and place. For some odd reason my 'boss'? only gave me the pinyin for the address at first. I can't believe that yet again I have to remind people, even if you give a foreigner the pinyin, it will do them no good since we are in china and characters are a must. So she texted it to me. Thank goodness for the internet because I needed to try and find out how to get there by cheap public transportation.

I arrived at the area of the shoot and I was happy because I was 15min early. Then the area turned out to be full of small streets and since I was being poor and decided to walk, I was late by 10min. Thankfully the staff was still shooting something else. We actually waited about an hour until my group was on.
During the wait, I met and talked to my partner and our opponents. All seem to be cool people. There were two Chinese people and one German guy. The name of the show is 老外做客 (laowai zuo ke). (that's pinyin in the parenthesis) The title of this blog is the translation. There are teams of 2 consisting of one foreigner and one Chinese native. We do all kinds of games and at the end someone wins!!! lol I forgot to ask if there was a prize. I was only concerned with pocket money at the time.

We ended up shooting at a bar where we played a game of pouring beer sliding it to your partner and then pouring it into a big measuring tube. It was not cool because I was catching the beer and it spilled on my arm. Then, beer has stupid foam so when the measuring tube as overflowing with it, it just slid down my hands. Sure the game was fun but I didn't want to smell like beer.

I thought everything was fun though until they wanted to shoot an interview. You know. The one when a contestant usually talks about what went right or wrong about the game. Did I mention we can only speak Chinese? I was fishing for a story man!! We lost so I was trying to say we just have to work harder next time and I have no experience with the bar nonsense blah blah...I survived but I want to prepare for the next "interview" and fix my grammar and maybe add a few sophisticated words!!

Unfortunately they don't tell us the games in advanced so I have to make it up while doing the game or as soon as we finish and just hope I'm not first.
*sigh*

After that we got a DVD and CD of different bands. Our task is to copy their style and learn a song. Which song? They'll tell us Thursday. I picked The Rolling Stones for us because the Beatles are on the bottom of my list of who I've listened to...And my partner doesn't know either one so he didn't care.

I went home after that and worried about my Chinese skills the whole time. Not only is it quiet when filming but the air seemed still as I was talking during my interview and the camera was in my face! But I was instructed not to look at it!!! A -- Gon -- Nyyyyyy~~~~


For those who know me though, this is my lifelong dream job. Well actually it's acting, this is more like reality TV haha I did a commercial when I was in Chengdu but since they were putting music over it we could be talking and the camera wasn't front and center in my face :)

Monday, March 30

Innocence

Today I got up around 6:30am because I did not finish writing my homework lol I laid down and dreamt that I was writing. (Thank you Lord for the wake up call.) because my alarm is set for 7:30; just enough time for a snack, change of clothes and the bus.
I packed everything including some buns, an apple and milk. Then I hopped in the shower! This was crazy because I'd let the time drift to 7:35. I barely made it out the door at 8.

I passed the gate, greeted security, and only waited 3min for the bus. I got on and decided to take a seat so that I could read over the vocabulary again. It's funny how 3 drops of water are on a seat and people act like they can't sit down. I did. And sure enough the lady beside me says it's wet. I told her it was no big and proceeded to study.

I reached school around 8:50 and class started around 9:15. As my teacher read one line and then explained for each line of the passage. Exasperated, I read it myself and started a new one. Then I decided to rethink the situation.
Even though we only have four students total in class, it is highly possible, that not all of us are able to read and comprehend! [Gooonnng~] It's true! There must be someone who, even though all new words are defined in the book in English, just can't seem to comprehend. So. I stopped reading ahead and listened to the teacher explain and read each line.**** But then I got tired so I took out my electronic dictionary and "tested" myself on vocab ;p (hey, I tried.)

After class I waited 40min for the other classes to finish so that I could return a book to a friend. (Yes. That's how early we end.) It turned out that she hadn't gone to class so I gave it to a mutual friend and left school to buy Taro milk tea.

I walked to a bus stop that would take me home. While standing at the bus stop, a tiny tot and his grandpa sat on stone sculptures a little ways away. The tot looks at me and excitedly says something to his grandpa while pointing at me. I smile. He runs to him and gets his milk then looks at me and waves the milk as if to say, "I have a drink too!" So I wave mine and drink some too. This happened about 3 times. and then it started O.O:

Him: Puts up one hand in high five.
Me: return the five
Him: high ten!
Me: High 8...(I'm still holdin my drink. He gave his to grandpa)
Him: funny face with tongue out
Me: funny face with puffy cheeks
Him: heart above his head (His arms were so small I almost couldn't tell haha)
Me: heart
Him: kissy face
Me: blew a kiss
Him: bunny rabbit with ears
Me: short bunny
Him: monster
Me: dog wagging tail
Him: foot in air!
Me: dying of stink!
We laugh quite a while and with one last heart and a wave goodbye we part ways.

Mind you the bus stop was not empty. So yes. For the sake of that tots' laughter, I was being completely silly. Of course everyone commented on me "playing with the kid". Some man even let me on the bus first! (In this "me first" country)

I got off the bus at my connecting stop and while waiting for the bus I unconsciously look around and lo' and behold!
Two guys on a motorcycle are not even caring about the road, because they (I assume) stared at me the whole time and then finally yell out a hello! I quickly wave fearing their safety. By all means they should pay attention! There have been accidents.

(I've been in China too long. Since when did I ever need spell check? Or dictionary dot com?)

Sunday, March 29

Much Irritation, But Not All Is Bad

I know I have kept you waiting long enough. I feel like I've been in Shanghai forever and school is just dragging away my...life! I've been irritated and itchy and tired and frustrated, but I've kept all of that inside. (This may be a long post to cover the week) It all boils down to this:

I am ready to leave Shanghai. I was told that when I was a toddler I couldn't stand dirtiness. With time, a little messy was ok. But Shanghai is one of the dirtiest places I've been in, and it rains on the mess! People seem to relentlessly spit all over the place and eat while throwing their plastic bags/bowls/uneaten food on the ground!? Do they really care nothing about their city? I wanna go home. And when I say home I mean Chengdu. Sure they are dirty too, but it's way more tolerable.
It's too bad. The people here are wonderful but I can't do this environment.

All right all right let's get started.
Monday 23
I went to classes and came home early. Just a normal day. It didn't rain. But I'm mad at myself because I spent 3hrs reading one chapter of my Managing Global Economy book. I guess it was the chapter because usually I am interested and time flies while I study it. Needless to say I put the book down and just read for U.S. China Relations.
[I'm trying to finish the last 5 chapters of MGE before spring break (April 6-10)]

Tuesday 24
This is the morning I was supposed to do more MGE but I didn't even touch the book. I studied Chinese instead. Then I decided to try and study right before the class [4pm] but I just left it in my bag and...I don't remember. But I know I didn't study it.

Wednesday 25
My Chinese teacher gave us a heads up on the next chapter we'd study and told us we would have dictation on Monday[30]. One of my classmates decided that studying 75 words was just too much for 5days. So the teacher cut out a lot. I hate that because half of the words are characters we already know how to write; easy things. Also our homeworks have been slim to none and our class time has been dramatically reduced! (It's been like this for 2 wks already but it's just now making the blog. I didn't want to post my complaints.)
Maybe I'm the class mate you don't like because I would rather use class time and have homework, but I prefer this because I pick classes that I want to use in life.

Anywho, later I finished copying my notes for US China and then went to that class (haha I had the notes highlighted in the readings, I just copied them to refresh. I wasn't lazy.)
In class I was told that my research topic had finally been approved and so even though I'm behind I'm still thankful. We talked about a lot during the class and 2 topics were things I wanted to share with you:
1* My teacher got on the subject of how Chinese girls don't talk about politics and don't know their history and such, and this caused a very offended response from my American counterparts. The thing is, even though I'm sure it's not everyone, the girls that I've hung out with haven't been very historical/political or anything. We always talk about pop culture and such. The guys I hang out with, on the other hand, happily mix those "important" issues into our conversations.

2* We talked about how Chinese people view Americans. The surveys we read proved that only the governments have a problem with each other. One girl expressed that she feels hated and gets dirty looks and gets talked about and stared at....
I'm sure I've covered this before, but let me explain again. Being foreign and black (which she is) you will get stared at hard and talked about!! If you learn the language like you are supposed to, (her choosing this specific program proves she wanted to learn right?) you would hear all of the adoring comments they are making out loud. Maybe one day I'll post a blog about all the things I've heard.


Thursday 26
I wanted to just stay in bed all day but I lured myself to China Phenomenon...late. After that class I wanted to study on campus but I didn't. I signed up to learn how to sing Beijing opera and do traditional dancing. Definitely up for putting myself in a position to understand culture. ;p

Friday 27~Saturday 28
I woke up late so I skipped breakfast and went on to Chinese!! This was the musical chapter so we read about the famous musician in our textbook and then listened to some of his folk songs. I want to get them.
Wang Luobin王洛宾- 在那遥远的地方In That Faraway Place
达坂城的姑娘 The Daban Cheng Girl
After we ended up listening to random songs that are popular nowadays.
Unfortunately (because I missed the first dance class), we had a make-up class right after it. We got our topics for our final speech and we present Wed. Can you believe I haven't started!!

This night was reserved for my friend that had to return to Japan. We karaoked and then hit a night club. I stayed the night at the dorms and in the morning bid her farewell. I'm sad because she was my only language partner. Sure there are other Japanese students at my school but they don't seem to like me much and I prefer her friendship to "strictly" language partner.
I went home and ate brunch and tried to catch up on some Anime. (I know. I know.) I watched the latest English subbed episode of Naruto Shippuden and tried to find more but of course they can only come out as the ones in Japan do. I did find that the Chinese youtube is one episode ahead but of course only with Chinese subs. I can't read that fast yet. Also subs don't work when you understand most of the spoken language. (Maybe I underestimate my Japanese. But I really want to understand every~ word~ o.o) Surprisingly I started another series on Chinese youtube because it wouldn't play on crunchyroll. Yet again, I battled the Chinese subtitles. [I think I'll do more of this to improve my reading.]
And then because of Friday night, I was knocked out hahahaha


Today!!!! Sunday!!!! 29!!!!
I was mad lol because I missed the Earth Hour thing. Even found out that this isn't the first year!! I am such an environmentalist and yet I don't even know these things.
Anywho, I studied and then decided it's better to study at school. Not that I wasn't doing well, but my favorite show came on and I wanted to avoid temptation.
As I walked out of my community's gate, the security guards gave their daily greetings. I really want to type today's in Chinese because it's funnier:

保安人员:你好!(热情地) Security guard: hello! (enthusiastically)
我:你好。(带着微笑) Me: hello. (slight smile)
员:你要去上学吗? Guard: You going to school?
我:对上学。笑 Me: yep, goin to school. (giggle)
员:今天是星期日!你该休息~!Guard: Today is Sunday! You should relax!
我:我要学习~! (都笑) Me: I want to study! ( all laugh)

Ok. Maybe it's not that funny. lol but xiuxi rhymes with xuexi so it was cute to me. Mind you there are about 3/4 guards talking to me. They bid me good bye and welcome me back everyday for the past week. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy!

Welp, I have wasted your time enough. I need to study for tomorrow's dictation...again...

**(0.0) **

Thursday, March 19

Touched By The Chinese

Today I was called out around 4pm to help a friend study English. She wants a perfected accent so that she can find a new job. She also wants to study at BYU. I took the bus and the metro in complete la-la land. Singin in my head and dancin as non-obviously as possible O.O We ate first and then started a battle with her TOEFL book haha

She actually decided to rip up the book in sections! Anyway we studied in a place called English First. This is really supposed to be a school where you pay and take some classes and join English clubs, but they have the place set up to where people from where ever can come study. I envy China for having these things...and I'll get a picture for you next time.
We spent about 2 hours going over an article in the text (while chatting with her friends in between). I think that if she keeps up her...will to learn and pace, she should be able to pass that test by the end of this summer!

I wish I could take the HSK test this year, but the test is in June or July and I leave in May...early May. I'm thinking that if I have to (want to) I'll come back next year just to take the test. (It'd be above my means to do it this summer.)****

On the metro ride home I decided to do my U.S.-Chinese relations reading. Then I switched to a bus that would lead me to the mcdonalds at the end of my street. (I was craving french fries only. I hate mcdonalds.) I was messing with the worker again, because usually people who work in these American fast foods will automatically throw out their English, but he was so shy, that 2dys ago when I first walked in he just looked at me. Shy smile with no words! Then I ordered in English!! (just to be difficult). All of his co-workers were like "You should help her out! Speak English!" whatever whatever.lol I decided to cut him some slack and throw out some Chinese. [Oh how quickly you relax when you hear your own language.] He confessed that he just can't bring himself to talk to foreigners in English. Oh well! Even though today he didn't say a word when I got there, I ordered in Chinese and only teased him a little. ;p

I decided to walk the 15min back to the house. (So I could scope out the night market. My clothes are getting holes in them. Not cool -_-) I ran from the bridge to the complex gate (it was a 1min run haha I don't like running). And to my surprise a security guard walked out and asked if i spoke Chinese.

I said yea as i kept walking. He says, "No! don't keep walking!!" It wasn't a command. It was a wish. I stopped and asked why. (being difficult again) He said he really wanted to talk.
We talked about working in America and here and schooling, etc. I was surprised at how much we'd covered in such a short time. I found out that I'm a year older than him and he wasn't going to enroll in college because he needs to work. 12hrs a day. No paid off days. As he put it "No work. No food."
I had asked him why he didn't learn a foreign language, since he likes to talk to foreigners. He said learning English is of no use to him. He won't ever work with enough foreigners. He will go to another city tomorrow to find a new job. I told him to spend some time doing self study and find his strengths and then change jobs. He expressed that I was better than him and that he just couldn't do it. I asked him what his dream job was. 'What do you want to be in life?' He didn't know.

[He was sooooo excited to just talk to me.]

I've had a few conversations like this with my Chinese peers and I can't help but feel bad. because I know it's going to be harder for them while they are here. There are just too many people to be considered 'exceptional'. In America we're told that it's ok to just figure out life when we are grown, but i seriously think you should think about it in at least middle school. Why so young? Because in a world that has already produced so many products, geniuses and ideas, it's only going to get more challenging. No matter what I must do something that helps my peers to be able to live comfortably. Our parents and grandparents and great grandparents have done what they were going to do. We also must do what we can do.

I would cry, but I'll pray instead. The lord is still on our side.

Kickin' It With The Fam

So It's only Thursday meaning I still have 3dys of no school. I was going to be cool and go to random places but so far I've just walked around, ate in one restaurant, studied outside in the good weather, and chilled a home.

It's funny because I can see some similarities in our families. Of course I have also picked up on the differences like a hawk. It's definitely shown me some things I think the "ideal" family is.

First:
There are only 3 people to begin with but chores are done in a completely "team work" manner. If dad cooks he'll clean the pots out right after. If mom cooks she'll do the same. As you know, Chinese people serve all dishes in separate bowls.

Second:
After eating sometimes mom will do the dishes but it's normally the son. he doesn't need to complain because we don't finish all the food normally. Meaning we only dirty one bowl apiece. He washes those and then our chopsticks and the table and counters, whatever.
Clean-up has taken but a second.

Third:
Son may come home and be very tired and say, "I don't want to do the dishes. I'm soooo tired." There is no outburst from Dad saying, "I bought this house and your blah blah blah yadda yadda (hours go by)."
There is a level of understanding. They all work so they know how it can be when ONE day has really gotten to you.

Fourth:
I'm not sure if this isn't normal but they usually eat dinner together. This is the time they can talk. They eat pretty fast so actually it's after that Dad is watching TV and Mom and Son talk while Dad throws in a 2cent something haha.
I think it's good to talk. You should know who your family are.

Fifth:
Sure there are some arguments. usually not as important but we all have them. Son is allowed to give his opinion. I like this a lot because sometimes parents have to know that, they...are...wrong. Oh the world! A parent was wrong!! so?

Monday, March 16

RenMinBi 人民币

This is actually going to be a short thing.

I was going out and just in case put 100RMB in my shoe. When I got home I forgot to take it out, since I didn't need it. My host brother found it and then my host dad showed me that my shoe had turned red!! not too much but still. He told me that that meant the hundred was real!

So I found one more way to make sure the money you get is real. You rub it and see it any color comes off. If it doesn't it's fake!! That baffles me in the sense that in order to make a passable fake RMB you have to find out how they make it to where people can use it everyday without it losing all of it's color by the end of the day, and yet will rub off a good amount when using your finger...Oh well I have no intentions of producing fake anything so ha.


It's the first day of vacation and I didn't do much of anything...Oh well.

Thursday, March 12

Nanjing and Park Pics

Oh yes. The most comfortable Chinese beds.平静。
Me and Veronica. We like to actually explore China.
Just had to let you see how some babies get bundled up. Poor 8mo old. It's actually not even cold this day.胖乎乎的
Haha chess baby! 下棋!
I'm gonna ride this....one day...before I leave.我要乘这个。。。有一天。。。我回国前。
Fishing in Zhabei park 在闸北园钓鱼
I was pulled in to XinZhang style dancing...
We walked all that way to construction... :(
This is what I go through to get good pics...O.O 惨死了!!
Nanjing Massacre Memorial
南京大屠杀纪念碑
I didn't take pictures inside because it's really not allowed. Sorry. I chose to be respectful of this FREE museum. Please see it yourself.
Lantern Festival at Fu Zi Miao 夫子庙的元宵节
我属龙。I belong to the Dragon. (Year)
They wanted my picture at a lake in Nanjing 南京。 对我就是这么有名的。呵呵


sorry it's not in any order. and it's late lol

Wednesday, March 11

Fitting In Fun

Wednesday is the day I have classes 9am-12pm, 4-5pm 5:30-8:00pm (sometimes later). I get tired before the 4o'clock TaiChi sometimes haha. In any event.
I pulled through the horrible mornings' Chinese class. It's finally boiled down to my teacher explaining the text sentence by sentence. Not cool. (Whatever. I've been reading ahead.)
I ate lunch with friends and we were talking for sooooo looooong. Well, mostly me and my friend Mai. We just kept switchin subjects makin the table laugh. I forgot there were others on the second floor of that small restaurant....until they all turned around to look and laugh at us....I was like "eh hehm" but we kept on laughing! I was thinking,"Why? Do Japanese people not talk while they eat lunch?" It was in no way offensive. I would have stred at us too. AND eavesdropped!! haha We had been going back and forth with stories and I don't think we followed the few seconds of silence in between rule...hehe

So! I went and studied a little and at 4 I was in TaiChi. I am now the translator for this class. I found out that I can interpret Chinese for English speakers pretty well, but it's a little difficult for the other way around. Maybe I need a few more months. My vocabulary in Chinese is still in progress.

After I went to Chinese U.S. relations class. Interesting.

Finally!!! I went into the dorms to eat with my friends. They had decided to cook Japanese and Mexican. We were speaking English Spanish Japanese and Chinese all at random times and mixing whenever and where ever. The food was good and smelled awesome. The atmosphere was lively and I will dearly miss this when it's time to go home.
We are comfortable and accepting of everyone speaking whatever language. No one randomly cusses me out in English because it's their favorite part of their learning. No one gives up and makes dumb excuses about why they don't want to learn the "stupid" language. No one laughs at you and tells everyone that you are weird because you are learning a new language.

*sigh* Welp! I'll just keep myself as involved as possible so that when times are tough I'll remember the life I lived here.

Sunday, March 8

The Park

After returning home at about 10pm I ate dinner and went to bed. Not as comfy as the hotel but far better than the dorms.

I awoke to *sings* SUNSHINE! not rain! ( I know the song's not like that but who cares.) I showered and ate breakfast while sitting by Ahyi at her request. I told her about the trip. The downs and the ups. Then I set off to hang with a black girl!!! Yeah!! (I'm glad I'm not the only black girl anymore. She's American of Cayman Island decent.)

We went to the park across the street, behind some stores, from school. We walked around the whole thing to watch the old people play badminton, do some exercise that I think is too graceful to be exercise, do tai chi, and dance. There was even a childrens' area for rides and painting and such.

While taking pictures of a Xin Zhang minority dance, I was pulled in by someone. So we took pictures and danced away! lol Actually I had to have them teach me a bit but it wasn't too hard.

We left there and my friend was approached by...a secret police? He was asking her how she liked China and I was snapping away on my camera and taking videos. This is how I found that he was a secret police. He politely asked me if he was in the photos or footage and please edit him out. If we needed anything call him. Cool.

We went to take pics with a statue and a lady walked her baby to us so we could....I don't really know. I wouldn't walk my baby up to strange but beautiful black girls! haha It was cute anyway. Then a mother and daughter walked in our direction. The girl asked her mom where we were from. The mom said Africa. I had to correct her (no I didn't say Jamaica this time) people need to know that blacks can be American. We talked a bit and the girl was sooooo sweeeeet she called me jiejie [big sister] and asked a few questions. I wish my friend wasn't a complete beginner so they could be mezmerized by her too.

After, we went to see some young boys practicing their WuShu. While taking some video I acknowledged the boys' nervousness in front of the 'cute black girls' and told my friend we should leave.

We ended up going to a bigger park. Century park I think. It was 10 to get in but it was huuuuuge. I think next time I go I'll rent a bike. There were boats, tents, kites, you name it. Families enjoyed themselves.

We were in need of lunch and since my friend has not enjoyed any Chinese food here we went to Papa John's. They messed up my order and a delightful Cantonese elderly couple gave the waiters a piece of their mind for me. hehe They were the one's who reminded me it was women's day!! So we got ice cream at Cold Stone and headed home.

At dinner I talked to the family about my day and they asked me questions about America and then we practiced learning foods and so on and so on.
I went to bed early. School on Monday.

(I've tired myself out. I'll upload pics and Mondays events later. My hind quarters need a break.)
 
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