The last post. It’s weird that it’s only been about a week and a half since I was in Shanghai. Life is back to normal here- I’ve fallen into familiar patterns with friends and places. Driving is definitely a bonus, and having American medicines on hand is such a relief.
I’ve learned a ton of Chinese (that is apparent now that it’s all over and done with). It’s kind of a shame that I can’t continue it any longer due to credit and time restrictions, but I plan on continuing with it as long as I can in the future.
I’ve met a ton of amazing people each with their own path who just so happened to meet at this program in Shanghai. Both students and teachers, Chinese and American, we all have big goals ahead of us and I can’t wait to see where life takes each of us =)
So economics senior thesis starts now. I’m super intimidated and don’t really know what I got myself into. Time will tell for this. I’m also venturing into studying Arabic, and it shouldn’t be too hard after characters. We’re learning the alphabet only this semester so I shouldn’t be too overwhelmed (hopefully!).
Picture recap: 1st and last are when we were on a cruise looking at the city at night. 2nd is from the club M1nt- they had a massive shark tank! 3rd is a picture of some of the amazing sushi you can get in Shanghai. 4th is the ladies who helped me order my suits. 5th is when we found a Mexican restaurant and I ended up cleaning the plate. 6th is a funny store sign (Civ V) that I found at the airport. 7th is my first meal back, and 8th is a picture of Pittsburgh from my apartment.
So ends the last post, and also this blog. Maybe I’ll start a new one in the future, but for now this is it. Goodbye Shanghai- I’ll definitely miss you.
This last week has been thoroughly interesting. Let’s start with yesterday. Yesterday we went to the fabric market to get suits made. I got a skirt, pants, and two blazers for 1000 kuai, or about 150$ USD. These are tailor made, I chose the pattern and lining and all that jazz, suits. I find out tomorrow how well they fit! Pictured is the store we went into. I overheard them in Chinese calling me fat while measuring me. Oh joy. It’s not so big of a cultural thing here to call someone fat, but it still hurts a little every time nonetheless.
We shopped around and then I found this lady making this interesting snack. I asked her if I could take a picture and she obliged. Got some interesting souvenirs here as well. Overall good trip.
So yesterday I cranked out a long paper and was up until about 2am. Today I had an oral exam that I could take between 9 and 9. Or so I thought. I got a call at 9:15am calling me in to take the exam due to a miscommunication. Needless to say, I didn’t prepare anything because that was today’s plan. It didn’t end up going as horrible as I thought it would. Also had to present twice today, one of which went well and the other was… tolerable.
Last educational thing to do is take the written test tomorrow. Then suit pick-up, shopping, dinner, and a river cruise. More shopping Saturday, and possibly even Sunday. Then I leave for the airport at noon on Monday!
Haircut pictures! It’s too hard to post them on facebook because I’m on a slow proxy. I couldn’t really get any good shots, especially because I’m still recovering and my color is way off. My eyes are super dark and quite frankly I haven’t tanned enough this summer so I look weird. But haircut went well! I don’t have a curling iron or a round hairbrush so it will look this way til I get back to the states.
Also thought it was worth mentioning I finally got to answer a question on Pottermore Day 7!!! Got the confirmation e-mail and am now waiting to hear back in the next few months or so =D!!! Super excited.
Anyways, I found an import store! THEY HAD JALAPENO CHEESE!!! Land o’ Lakes! It was way expensive, but if I had found this place a month ago I would’ve gone there again and again just for the Cheese. I also found imported wines (dear goodness it’s good I didn’t find this place before!) and other fun stuff. Like dried cranberries for $15 a pound.
And they had a mochi store (!!!). Pictured is part of the display case. For those that don’t know, mochi is a lump of ice cream inside rice dough, and is sold at Trader Joes and is served in most Japanese restaurants in the states as a dessert. I got the dark chocolate one, and it was superb =)
6 days and counting! I gotta get to writing my project, so I’ll write again later this week =) Can’t wait to see you guys!!!
Many a thing has happened since last post. For one, the hurricane did not really hit us. It kind of curved around us, so no adventure. Furthermore, I think the pills I’ve had to take have eliminated my appetite. It’s great! I know I have to eat (and do) but I have no appetite whatsoever. I hope it lasts!
Sad news. My roomie moved out today. She had to go home to sick relatives and probably won’t be coming back. She helped me so much when I was sick and is a really great person. I am going to miss her a lot and it’s really lonely here already (it’s been 2 hours…).
There was a guy here that really likes her and wrote her a love letter and gave her this amazing bouquet of flowers (picture included). They are super cute together and we were all rooting for them =P
So I’m definitely (well semi-definitely) getting my hair cut tomorrow. I’m near chickening out not because I don’t want it done, but because I’m afraid something will go wrong and I won’t be able to talk in Chinese fast enough to correct it. Tomorrow I get to research Chinese terms for hair cutting.
Quick rant: Chinese class here is ridiculous. We are tested on about 40+ words a week. But then you have to add in the words from previous books I don’t know (we used different books at home), and then add in the words that the teacher uses in class (which is frustrating because we never learned some of them). At this point I can barely read anything. Often I ask some of the Chinese roommates here for help with the homework. Tonight we spent 20 minutes trying to answer 5 questions because the grammar was so complex and no one uses it.
So for the fun pictures. Today’s adventure was dragonfruit. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but do you know what it actually looks like? It’s that hot pink fruit thing pictured above. And the inside is white with black seeds. It doesn’t have much flavor but is amazing to look at! I cut one up for a snack tonight =)
And the other picture is the continual growth of plant =) He is doing very well.
So I haven’t been able to sleep more than 2-4 hours straight for a few nights now, and finally, finally last night I was getting some good rest. 5 hours! 6 hours! But anymore was not to be. At approximately 7:30 the most horrendous sounds permeated my ears. Today seemed like a great day for construction on the other side of the wall shared with my bed. Like drilling holes through walls and hammers and floor waxing sounds. One of the things we could see (the shared wall is in a locked room) is pictured here, and that window is my shower room on the left.
Good news though- I can eat without pain pills =) And still no appetite whatsoever, but I’m eating when I remember. We also had our exit exam today which is kind of geared towards the 400 level and above. I’m 201 so yeah, that didn’t go so well. It’s not graded, so it’s not a big deal. I also go to use my favorite word in Chinese 6 times! 什么的！ It means etc.
Here’s to better posts from now on!
For Lack of a Better Name
Past few days have been tough. I got sick at possibly the worst and best time. Worst because we have finals next week, I have a ton of projects to get done, and we have a skit to do tomorrow night that I haven’t prepared. Best because that all falls next week (for the most part). Out of all the times I’ve been sick, this one ranks in at number 2 on the scale of worstness. The only time it’s been worse is when I hit a 103.x degree fever and was completely gone. This one might have hit that, but I don’t think it was quite that bad.
But, something good came out of it. You’re going to think I’m crazy. That’s fine, maybe I am. But I got to eat TOAST! Yes, TOAST! With strawberry jam. It was so good. Best hospital food I’ve ever eaten.
No more fun places to visit really, except for Pearl Market on Saturday (Shanghai’s knock-off district) to finish off my shopping. And then KTV if I’m up for it, with friends. Trip is finally coming to a close =/ Tonight if I feel ok, I am going to a tea store with my roommate to buy some good tea =)
So no hair cut yet- this has been delayed until Wednesday. Various reasons, not a big deal. See picture here: http://www.womensbeautylife.com/gallery/Long_hair/lg33 if you want an idea of what it’s going to look like (hopefully =))
We went to the river town. Kind of underwhelming. Pictures are attached, but it was basically a shopping center of traditional little Chinese shops. If you look at it this way- that it is supposed to be how it used to be in Shanghai before all of the redevelopment- it makes you kind of wish it was still the same as back then. I did get plenty of presents for everyone so I’m pretty excited =D I’ve been carrying around a list and I’m finally reaching the end of it! They had little fish in little baubles that were cute (and cheap… and kind of cruel) and the big fruit thing (I believe) is called a durian. I plan on eating a dragonfruit soon, and can’t wait to take pictures =)
15 days and counting until I get back! And I most probably (and hopefully) will be playing in Bill’s pick-up on the 19th (pending knee condition…)! Not looking forward to hockey or anything…
We also took a tour of the Volkswagon-Skoda company. I didn’t want to go (instead I wanted to go to the art district and then get my hair cut), but it was required. IT was about an hour trip to go, and then we only stayed 25 minutes (video and a cart tour). Not only was it super short, we also couldn’t take any pictures, except in the entrance way. Furthermore, they were welding things in there and the sparks could have very easily hit our carts. Sorta like a rollercoaster sans the semi-safe feeling. The flower picture is from in front of the company, the rest are from the river town.
I forgot to mention my favorite part about the hospital visit yesterday. I had to get weighed and measured as part of the appointment. So I got on the scale and joked, “Ha, I don’t know my weight because it’s in kilograms. I probably don’t want to know.” The nurse (who spoke fairly good English), “You don’t want to know.” Thanks. Thanks a lot.
So I have a test tomorrow. I am not procrastinating. How dare you say I’m procrastinating?! Yeah… I’m procrastinating. But I have a list of what I want to do in the short week I have before classes start again: Play a pick-up hockey game (Friday night), go to Mad Mex (late dinner, the day I get back), go to Primanti’s (late lunch, the day I get back), have a campfire and make s’mores, swim (bonus points if it’s at night), and see the new Harry Potter for real (not a burned poor quality DVD). If anyone wishes to accompany me, you are more than welcome to come =)
Off to make tea and… tea… and memorize a legend in Chinese. Will be going to an art district tomorrow, so shall have pictures again =)
Where have all of the pictures gone?
Boredom continues. Goodish news however- I didn’t break anything =) Got an x-ray today (even though he suggested an MRI, it was way to expensive and not covered by my insurance. peace of mind wasn’t worth it… unless things get worse) and nothing was broken. I probably just bruised my patella, after discussion with sister. The guy tried to get me in an epically huge knee brace as well, $500-600 USD. So MRI-$1700, bandages and ice pack- $20, and exam was about $150 too. I took bandages, an ice pack, a few x-rays, and the exam, all covered by insurance. I climbed the Great Wall 2 days after it happened, and it’s a lot better now, so I’m not too worried.
Did some research on Chinese growth. Not really that much, but I have to have a plan of what I’m going to do done tomorrow, with slides. Maybe I’ll get around to it by midnight.
I won’t waste any more of anyone’s time. Parting words- probably going to a river town this weekend, so I will have pictures posted again. I also have started exercising daily and consistently (sans knee/leg workouts for now… and sans running, which I can start doing in 10 days per doctors orders. frustrating…) for the past week. Here’s to it being a lifestyle choice =)
World Without Pictures
Nothing of visual note today. I’m kind of nervous though because I have a doctors appointment tomorrow to see if I did anything to my knee. It’s still swollen oddly in one part, and has been for 2 weeks ever since I fell. No pain walking, so I’m hoping for the best =) I’ll post tomorrow about the results. Insurance here doesn’t cover physical therapy, blah.
I think I might have a beginning point for my senior thesis- factors determining Chinese growth (yeah it’s broad, I might reduce it to a particular sector, or not do it at all, but we’ll see where this goes). It’s a start =)
Pretty much nothing else. Yay boredom!