Page 2 of lauralisonash Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Chongqing » Chongqing November 9th 2010

Last week was spent studying, studying, studying in various locales: my room, Clare and Audrey's room, the hostel, a tea house at the Wenxu Monastery, etc. The midterm was Friday morning. I felt all right about it. I was happy to be done. Monday morning, at 6:30, everyone met in the lobby to go to the train station. Once there we had some time to spare, and a lot of us hit up Kentucky Fried Chicken for breakfast. I finally had "grease stick," something I have wanted to try since Mr. Cook, my first Chinese teacher, mentioned it several years ago. It was good, especially dipped in coffee. The train trip was two and a half hours. I read. It was wonderful. I haven't had time to read in a long time. We arrived and started ... read more
army vehicles
an art demonstration

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu November 3rd 2010

While I have been China I have been thinking about my East Asian Studies thesis. My first topic choice was skin in China. Fair, unblemished skin has consistently been the preference throughout history... I should actually do some research to make sure of that... Now, women use skin products containing bleach, burn freckles off with vinegar, use umbrellas anytime it is sunny... However, I would have to do more of an emphasis on the fine art/ literature part of that, since that is my focus. So I would have to find poetry, and literature, and representations of women in art. This might be too unwieldy a topic. Theses are always so specific, and I like to look at the big picture. The history of it, the effect on women's self-confidence, how this affects how people in ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 31st 2010

The festivities began with a trip to Chunxi Lu. We started at the Donut Stop, which is conveniently located right next to the bus station. I had a strawberry jam filled 多拿咝(duonasi) and a pineapple flavored 多拿咝. 很好吃! We went to the Women's Market to purchase the finishing touches for our costumes before heading back to campus. Ever since Maria discovered the correct return bus station from Chunxi Lu to Dongmen, our trips to Chunxi Lu have been much less stressful. Back in the dorm I dunked my head in the shower and braided my hair, then shoved it up inside my panda hat so I would look less stupid for the meeting I had set with Adam. He has not been the most reliable site director, and our Tibet class has gone a bit awry, ... read more
Audrey as Pansy
Maria as Draco
Clare as Harry

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 31st 2010

I have one! I found a row of printing shops on the way back from the subway station, and a few of them print red banners. I came up with a sentence, stopped in at one on the way back from the noodle man last week, and ordered a banner. It was as simple as that. My banner says: Welcome to my cold, shabby hovel. That may sound ridiculous to you, because you aren't in my Culture and Society class. But when Chinese people welcome guests into their homes, they traditionally disparage their own home and children and food, etc. So my Culture and Society teacher always says, in his crazy voice, "Welcome to my cold, shabby hovel. This is my worthless son..." So I am going to hang it in my dorm room at Lewis ... read more
Welcome to my cold
shabby hovel

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 31st 2010

200 dollars a month, less than 7 dollars a day, for food. This is how much Pacific Lutheran University supplies us with. As the RMB rises in value, this amounts to less and less. However, my friends and I have made a game out of making money off of our food stipends. So, we treat ourselves to one expensive meal a week, usually Western food. We have done Subway, Peter's Tex Mex, Pizza Hut... None of it seems very glamorous by American standards, but it seems like a treat to have cheese, and greasy fries, burgers, cookies... that sort of thing. The rest of the week, we spend very little. I have a meal card now, so I can eat in the dining hall. They have all kinds of food: noodles and rice, eggs, veggies, meats, ... read more
The ground pork
tomatos, onion, and garlic
the finished product

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 25th 2010

On Friday the twenty-second everyone had a day off of classes for Sichuan University's seasonly sports competition. This is an inter-campus competition. Students from the Sichuan University schools of law, hydroelectric engineering, foreign language, business, etc. competed with each other in events such as the 100 meter, 400 meter, 1500 meter, shot put, javelin, soccer... On Friday morning the opening ceremony began at 8 am. Only three or four abroad students were competing in events, so our Chinese teachers worked hard to recruit more of us to walk in the opening ceremony. It didn't take much. Each participant received a free track suit: bright red with 海外 on the back, meaning "abroad." So, after a night out I woke up at 6:30 to get myself ready and walk over to the stadium near South gate. The ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 22nd 2010

This is a post about the real reason I am in China: to learn Chinese. Of course I have my classes. Five days a week, an hour and a half of general Chinese. I only wish that I could pay better attention. I try really hard. I take my watch off so that I don't look at it every five minutes. I sit in the front, take notes, respond to the teacher. But my mind wanders. We look at grammar, listen to examples, practice saying the vocab, read the dialogues, take quizzes after every lesson... Class is over at 10:30 am, and most of the time my culture classes aren't until the late afternoon, so there is lots of time in the middle of the day to explore Chengdu, or study on my own, or watch ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 19th 2010

Red banners are all over the place in China. Hanging in front of school buildings, on store fronts, on gates, from trees, next to sports fields... Some of them are about the 2010 census, some are store advertisements, some I can't read. I don't know where they come from, whether they can be purchased by any old person, how to get them... However, I am planning on finding out. Anyway, today when I was walking through campus I took pictures of as many red banners as I saw and could take pictures of without looking like a fool. And these aren't even close to all of the banners on campus, not to mention the rest of the city and China.... read more
A school building
Another school building
And another.

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 18th 2010

The weekend began on Friday with a bus trip to Chunxi Lu. We splurged on lunch at Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut here is not like Pizza Hut in America. We had to wait to be seated. We ordered not just stuffed crust, bacon pizza, but mashed potatoes, waffle fries, and little crostini rolls with beef and asparagus in them. I also drank an oreo shake. Everything was really good. We paid just over 50 kuai each. Seven dollars or so. Afterward we headed to the women's market. This is the crazy four story chaotic mess of bargaining. We all found what we wanted right away: stockings and hair pieces for our Cabaret outfits for The Shamrock's anniversary party. Audrey has gotten very good at bargaining, mainly because she has no mercy. We left after only an ... read more
Oreo Shake

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 15th 2010

I have an exciting weekend planned with my friends. Today we are going to Chunxi Lu to have Pizza Hut for lunch and shop. There are a few themed extravaganzas coming up, a Cabaret at the Shamrock and Halloween to be exact. So we need to find bits and pieces for our costumes. Tonight we are having dinner with Clare's English group. They have pledged to take us somewhere good and cheap, which is awesome because we are trying the stick to the 50 kuai a day meal stipend that PLU has set for us. That is seven dollars a day. And if we eat for less that that, we can use our earnings to fund shopping, tailoring, etc. After dinner we will go out as usual. Tomorrow at one Sichuan University is sending us all ... read more

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