Published: August 20th 2012August 20th 2012
So it's been a long time since I've had an update.
School ended on the fifteenth of June; for a few weeks, I had a lot of free time. So I went to Tianjin by myself for a few days. That's when I started to get serious about learning Chinese. Speaking the simplest phrases lit up the faces of the people. Great city. Visited the Zhou Enlai Memorial, Emperor Puyi's civilian house, Italian Style Town [sic], Tianjin Eye, Haihe River, a Confucian temple, Drum Tower, Huo Yuanjia Memorial, and the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall in Xijian.
Shortly after returning I went to Beijing with Ben; the first two days we hung out with his friends, but on the third day I went alone. Visited Beihai Park, the Badaling section of the Great Wall, Beijing Zoo, Yonghe Temple (colloquially referred to as the Lama Temple), and the Forbidden City/Palace Museum. Everything besides Beihai Park was accomplished in one day since I was pressed for time. Overall thoughts of Beijing...not a place I'd like to live in China. Too many lao wai. I prefer being the only foreigner where I live.
For the summer, I've been working at
The first ones to openly talk to me about the government
a private language school since July 7th. It's a big difference from working at a public school, and to be honest I do prefer the public school, but it's still been fun. Since the school is in the city center and I live in a district, I was offered an apartment so I could live closer to the school but decided I enjoy living alone too much to sacrifice that. Riding the bus has been the opportune time for me to learn Chinese and I've made immense progress since then; coming from basically nothing to being able to hold simple conversations in the span of a month and a half is an achievement for me.
There are a lot of stories to tell and I'm sure this blog reads mechanical, but I just haven't had the urge to share as of late. Every day is an adventure and something new or exciting happens. There's never a dull moment since I'm the only foreigner around, as I have people come up to me and talk quite a lot. I've made a few friends at the swimming pool and when the Olympics were on someone would always challenge me to a
race (I'm not too fast, it's just the Chinese here aren't great swimmers). It's been great fun, to say the least.
As the new school year shall soon begin I find myself anxious for what's to come...
There are more photos below