Published: May 22nd 2012May 22nd 2012
Today was the weirdest day yet. I started classes yesterday and they are hysterical. We learn a ton and being immersed in the culture makes it much easier to take in the Chinese vocab because we are constantly using it. Conveniently we are using the same book as I had at nova and they are starting from the chapter we left off at! I love my classes so far, and tai chi was the funniest thing I could possibly describe. At first the man teaching it seemed very slow and peaceful, and then all of a sudden he whipped out some crazy self defense moves that none of us were expecting. He is also going to help us all get tai chi outfits. I'm super excited and will be wearing it on the plane home.
After classes we went to a Tibetan restaurant with about 13 people. We were so loud they stuck us in the back room and we tried some of the strangest foods. The room was set up as a carpeted bench that went all around the room with a small table in the middle, and Tibetan pictures on the walls with incense burning in the middle
of the table. We had yak butter tea, which was terrible, opaque, and tasted like salt. Yak tongue was also offered on the menu as an entree. We had a great time at the restaurant once we found some less scary dishes and we all bonded as a group which was cool.
For lunch today we went to a cute little restaurant about ten minutes from our apartment. The waitresses thought it was funny that we struggled with chopsticks and took pity on us and brought over spoons. I tried a dish of potato strips with bell peppers, which was strange but good. After this we tried to buy water and found out that the word water was extremely similar to the word for "handsome" and that for a few minutes we were asking to buy "handsome" which the man selling it found extremely comical. The people in Chengdu are super good humored and helpful, they make foreigners feel very welcome.
Today we went to Jin Li street, which is supposed to be a very fun and cheap place to get souveniers. We got there and literally the second we walked in, me and 3 of my friends
that are equally as white, a man turned around and blatantly video taped us. We were the subject of a million photos and stares which is super awkward especially when people don't think you notice them taking your photo. We saw snake fried on a stick for sale. When we wanted to leave we got a cab and showed the driver our address, but decided to go meet our friends half way through the ride, so we showed him a different address, he got flustered and dropped us off on a random street and we were incredibly confused. We walked around for a while and decided to eat in an arabic restaurant nearby. It turns out that everything on the menu was terrifying and not arabic at all,so we ran away and got a cab. Little did we realize, the man driving the cab was the same as before, the man who had dropped us in the middle of nowhere. We literally died of laughter when we realized it and just stayed quiet til we got to our apartment. As we were walking the final block to our apartments a tiny Chinese girl was walking with her mom and kept
looking back at us. She finally smiled and said "Hello!" and it was SO cute. We asked in Chinese what her name was and she said Cynthia. I told her it was pretty and she giggled and walked RIGHT next to us for a while, about 10 feet behind her mom but her mom thought it was really cute too. I love how candid children here are, they are so curious. We found a pizza place in China!!! Unfortunately it was closed tonight...so we tried to make the only thing we had at the apartment...corn meal. It was probably the worst thing I have ever tasted with the exception of some weird tofu on the side of the street, but now we know to eat before 9:00!
There are more photos below