Chinese friends and lots of speaking practice

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November 11th 2010
Published: November 16th 2010
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On Monday night, Clare, Audrey, Maria and I made dinner for our friend Snow White and her friend from home(I think her name is Guo Wen, but I may be wrong). We made 意大利面(spaghetti), garlic toast, and chocolate dipped bananas, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies. All by wok and pot on freestanding gas burners. We made the chocolate dipped desserts by putting dove chocolate in a bunt cake pan in a wok of boiling water.

The six of us sat around Clare and Audrey's coffee table and ate and watched television. Snow White told us that our spaghetti was a lot like a kind of noodle that she eats in her hometown. She was probably just being nice. But she did eat seconds.

After dinner and dessert we played Uno. It was a lot of fun until the game lasted about five hours. We practiced our kindergarten level Chinese by saying the colors and numbers as we put the cards down. We were being so ridiculous, and laughing hysterically. Snow White and her friend probably think that we are fools. We did pretty well speaking Chinese with them though, because Snow White's friend doesn't speak English... We didn't want to exclude her from the conversation.

On Tuesday, Maria, Sara(h) and I tried a new restaurant for lunch. The cook makes handmade noodles just by stretching and folding dough. It is amazing to watch. And it tastes good! I had noodles with tomato and egg on top. Yum!

After eating dinner at the potato restaurant, Kristiana, Sara(h), Audrey, Clare, Maria and I went to some of the bars on bar street, just to check them out. They are very chill. No dancing, just sitting and talking and listening to music. We were home by 9:30 and in bed before 11.

On Wednesday after class, our whole class took taxis to the Chengdu Art Academy. There were a lot of traditional paintings, but also western style landscapes and portraits with oil paints.

After taking a bunch of group pictures in the courtyard, we walked down a touristy street to a restaurant called city life. The waitresses pushed tables together, and we ordered A LOT of food. After the table was covered, the waitresses just piled the rest of the dishes on top of the first ones. I am glad I was not the one washing the dishes.

There were a lot of new dishes: boiled beef, pumpkin soup, baby bamboo shoots. But my favorites were the old standbys: mapo doufu, chicken with peanuts and peppers.

The teacher decided that if we spoke English we would have to sing a song, so everyone spoke Chinese. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. No awkward silences even. Afterward the teacher asked us to tell jokes and make small talk (少话), and then she sang just because she wanted to sing.

We got back to campus on our own, relaxed for a bit, and then Maria and I took the subway for 面 man's delicious egg noodles. We had fun practicing Chinese with him, and he practiced English with us as well. He really likes to use the phrase "stroll on the street." He always asks us about our "stroll on the street" when we come to his restaurant. He tells his other customers that we are Chinese students, so they ask us questions. And the beef noodles were as good as always. If I had been in a bad mood, that would have fixed it.

Then Maria and I stopped by the hostel to visit our friends there. I had a hot chocolate and Maria had a Baileys and milk. We sat outside with Murphy and Kaye. They teach us new phrases. We made fun of Maria for only being able to remember bad words in Chinese. We talked about accents and difficult sounds to pronounce, such as "ri" and "re" in Chinese and "th" and "v" in English. Once again, we had a kind of exchange, speaking English and Chinese.

I left at 6:30 in order to grab a cab to get back to campus for class. I guess I miscalculated, because I didn't get cab until 7. It was still rush hour. While I was waiting a couple of girls approached me for money, but I put them off. I didn't get back to campus until 7:20/7:30 and I decided it wasn't the best idea to walk into class in the middle of a lecture, especially because I had found out from Adam earlier in the day that we were actually supposed to have a lecturer. I thought that it might be rude to interrupt... and I was kind of tired and not in the
a mopeda mopeda moped

very realistic
best mood after trying to get a taxi during rush hour... And of course, the one time I skip class, Adam assigns topics for our final: two 800-100 word chapters in a text book that we are making for classes to come. So I missed out on all of the good topics, and was in an even worse mood after that. Lovely. But mostly mad at myself for missing class.

This morning after class, after I found Kungfu Panda, Beauty and the Beast, and Robin Hood at the bootleg DVD stand, Maria, Clare, Audrey, and I went to the cafeteria for lunch. While we were waiting for the windows to open, a couple of businesswomen approached us. They didn't speak English. They were trying to sell us insurance. One of them gave us her business card and asked us to write down email addresses. After we had finished eating, she approached us again to try and get our phone numbers out of us, but we all put her off by telling her we don't have Chinese cell phones, which we do, but we don't want phone calls about insurance day and night.

Now I am in my
oil paintingsoil paintingsoil paintings

less traditional
room, all packed for our trip to Xi'an this weekend. I can't wait!

Anyway, the point of this post is, OMG! I am in China learning Chinese, I have made some really awesome friends, and my Chinese is improving a lot faster than I realized. Woo!

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


teachers and a studentteachers and a student
teachers and a student

my teacher is the middle girl. the guy in the back is one of the students in my class.
a photo shoota photo shoot
a photo shoot

they are all over the place. girls wearing ridiculous clothes. boys not matching. cameras.

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