A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: CelLung

Wow, just when I caught up, I slack off again...

I suck, I know...

sunny 28 °F

So sorry for the delay. A lot has happened since I last posted and will give a full summary in the very near future (I'll have to, I only have a little less than two weeks left here.)

It's been quite the journey!

But I digress...

It's my birthday! Miso ancient!

But!

My bank is an asshole and keeps misspelling my name so I can't get a Western Union money transfer right away. I have to wait til 10 at night my time for the bank to open up 9am their time. UGH.

And...my roommate moved out! She's from Canada and school has started back so she needs to return. If only it were any day other than today, argha.

I'm going to miss her so much. She was so nice and helpful. To think that in the beginning, I wanted a dorm without a roommate :/ ....

I've really gotten lucky with all of my roommates, to be honest. (Perhaps that needs to be rephrased, yar har har...) Whether they were at home or abroad, I've always gotten along with them and they with me, and they've all become good friends. I think this makes up for the ONE roommate, my uncle when I stayed at their house, for shoving various religious beliefs down my throat for an entire semester.

Ah well. Time to get used to a quiet dorm :/

To take my mind off of the more depressing things, two of my classmates and I plan to go to Wangfujing so they can watch me eat random body parts of animals :D There's no other way I'd prefer to spend my bday than gnawing off some goat testicle, ya know? ;D

All the more stories I can bring back home :DDD

Tomorrow (Thursday) and onward will be hardcore studying for my finals next week. They're Mon-Wed, but my Wednesday one is the exam I fear most (oral exam). I've only been studying on and off lately, so I need to buckle down and know grammar and stuffs post haste.

But for now...I float in the ether...

Posted by CelLung 23:30 Archived in China Comments (0)

A brief intermission

27 °F

There's a cute mini-paragraph in my Speech class' textbook.

Well, I thought it was cute. Or rather the images that I picture when reading it :D

我的小狗叫欢欢,它有一身白白的毛,两只黑黑的耳朵,胖得像个皮球,穿了一件衣服,脖子上戴着一个红项圈,昨天晚上在小区门口走丢了,请看到欢欢的人跟我联系。 谢谢!

Translation:

My puppy's name is Huan Huan, its body has white fur, two black ears, is fat like a ball, wearing yellow clothes, is wearing a red collar. Yesterday evening in the residential area he walked out the main gate and got lost. If you see Huan Huan's owner's, please contact me. Thank you!

I like stories about animals :D

Too bad not all of the passages are this cute. Or easy. Nyah hah...

Posted by CelLung 08:18 Archived in China Tagged cute paragraph Comments (0)

Oh my gosh, I've finally caught up!

Go me!

28 °F

We got our exam grades back. Eh heh....

ANYWHO, the highlight of this week was Thursday :D Xin Yu, one of our classmates, suggested that we all go out for lunch together.

As a brief aside, I really got lucky with my classmates.

Rephrase.

I feel fortunate that I have the classmates that I have. We're all pretty cool with each other. There are no vendettas or blood debts to be paid among us. I've heard from a few other people that their class is nowhere near like ours. Everyone kind of keeps to themselves and they don't do anything together. I'm really happy that my classmates are so nice and friendly and that we like to do things with each other.

Back to the main point:

Thursday after class we bike to this area outside the East Gate and go to a restaurant called The Kro's Nest. It's oddly American in look and atmosphere. At the very least, it had American songs playing. It's a very cozy pizza restaurant were I ironically ate pizza on Thanksgiving, ha. Our 口语 teacher came with us. She's pretty fun to be around when she's not the strict speech teacher, heheh.
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About three large pizzas fed all....13 of us? They were pretty big pizzas with hefty slices. We didn't finish half of one pizza so Xin Yu took it back with him later on. The menu was pretty American as well. BBQ chicken wings, onion rings, cheese sticks...I was pretty impressed.

Lots of good conversation went on and we stayed there for a good...three hours?

I also found out Kathi, the girl who sits next to me in class, likes dead baby jokes :D She kept asking me for one, and when I managed to crack part of it out, we just burst out laughing.

And I mean LAUGHING.

And by that, I mean I finally found another soul who shares my twisted sense of humor.

Dead baby jokes aren't even funny, but that's what makes it funny. I can never explain why, haha.

Anyway, two of the classmates around us were like, "That's horrible! What's funny about that?" They weren't offended, but sort of clueless as to why we were laughing so hard at something so immoral. Haha.

It was a good day. I looked up some dead baby jokes to tell the next day, and Kathi actually wrote some down to tell hem. Ah, I love my classmates, fufu~

Sunday (11/28 and/or tomorrow) ten-ish of us are going to 欢乐场/Happy Valley!

Funny story.

It's an amusement park in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, but we heard about it as a vocab word in our listening class. I think it was Kathi who originally proposed that we go. It's been equate to a Disneyland of sorts, with theme parks, rides, and rollercoasters and the like. Some of those rollercoasters look kind...ooof. And by that, I mean scary. I'm no wuss, just an overly cautious person, fufu. Another classmate arranged for a bus to pick us up at 9am and we're going to leave maybe around 6pm.

I'm kind of excited :D Again, I'm glad we classmates get along so well and want to explore Beijing with each other. Supposedly there's a date for seeing the new Harry Potter in the works. To be honest, I haven't read any of the books or seen all of the movies, but a friend has summarized the end for me, so no surprises. I SO was being sarcastic when I asked if Snape died by snake. I swear. Poor Snape :*(

Snapes on a Plane.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been teaching myself the Korean alphabet as of yesterday (11/26). Three girls in my class are Korean and can only speak Korean and our level of Chinese. Two of them are the ones that invited me out to 798. I really like being around them because it forces me to speak Chinese instead of slipping into English. They know very, very few English words, but not enough to make a complete thought, and they don't understand English when fluently spoken. Anywho, I often hear them speak Korean and the language sounds so pretty! It's almost...sing songy, if that makes any sense. Very pretty on my ears :) And it's nice to be around a phonetic alphabet. Trust me.

TRUST ME.

Posted by CelLung 04:15 Archived in China Comments (0)

Catching Up: One week at a time Part 5

I need to find better titles for these things, haha.

MIDTERMS WEEK. UGH.

I spent all of last weekend plus all of this week preparing for tests. My 综合 was on Thursday and my 口语 and 听力were both on Friday.

Tuesday I ate the rest of the food Helen got in preparation for my midterms.

Not...the best idea.

Something didn't agree with me too entirely much. I can't say I can pin it on the food Helen brought back because I did eat some meat from the cafeteria as well. But this time, the meat looked...soggy? And I went there around when the cafeteria started to open, so it's not like it's been sitting there for forever. Even then, I only nibbled a very little bit because the 'meat' is mostly fat/skin.

Whatever it was punched my stomach in its figurative face later that night. I was the barest hint of nauseated, but mostly had a stomach ache. The sucky thing was was that as I was going to bed, I could *feel* my GI tract's downward spiral into doom. After a few minutes of laying down, my stomach started to feel funny, then it went into hurt-mode. I was up for maybe 40 some minutes, at least, trying to ride it out. I was out of my knock off pepto bismal tablet things ( I need to find some in China...). Considering it was already past 1 in the morning, I didn't get to sleep until sort of late :(

The following morning, Wednesday, my stomach was still a little pissy so I skipped my first class. I'm never too opposed to skip 口语, to be honest, haha. I mean, I don't skip because I don't feel like going. The only other time I missed class was when I was getting over a cold. The last thing I needed was to be out in Beijing winter weather and passing along my germs.

I went to my 听力 class that started at 10am. I spent up until that moment studying. I had to use my time wisely, not just piss it off with midterms so close. I was SO out of it during my 10am class. I woke up early that morning thinking I was going to my 8am class, but when I didn't, I never went back to sleep. Coupled with the fact I only got 4-ish hours of sleep...yeah. But I had a feeling my 听力 teacher was going to do a review (which she did, ha) so I went.

Thursday was my 综合 test, easy as pie. That and the teacher is really awesome and nice. I'm considering asking her for a letter or recommendation for an internship I'm trying out for when I get back to the States :D

Friday.

Friday was a not so good day.

I had 口语 first and was in the first group to go. I knew I would be in the first group because during those annoying fill in the blank out loud things she has us do, I almost always volunteer to go first :/

It was all oral, no writing. We went in about two at a time and she gave us a sheet. The first part was just reading the sentences in Chinese. Easy. The next part, she gave us a few sentences and wanted us to use the given grammar to restate it. The last part was a short speech on one of the topics using either 7 vocab words or 3 types of grammar that we learned. I picked the "talk about an experience". I think I kind of went off topic ( a few other people felt they went off topic). I dunno, I told her about my experience in Beijing. That counts as one, right? Let's pretend it does. I'm SO envious of the people who got "what type of weather do you like?" or "talk about Chinese food". GAH! I would have KILLED for a food topic! I love talking about that stuff :P

Anywho, after that, I studied a bit for 听力. I was kind of out of it by that point, and gave up about half an hour in. I studied a for it a bit the day before, but how do you study for a listening test? Well, besides listening to the convo tapes over and over.

That test....ugh.

There was this melancholy atmosphere over the class, haha.

That's all I'm willing to say about that day. Midterms suck no matter what country you're in. Bleh.

Saturday relieved most of the stress the week had built up. Me and a few of my classmates went to the 798 Art District! Before that, we had lunch at this really nice looking Korean restaurant. I'd forgotten just how good Korean food is. Yummm!!!

At 798, artist in me was SO very happy <3 Most of the buildings are these old warehouses and you can still see the construction sites in some parts. I LOVE construction sites. Anything with lots of metal and detailed architecture. We also went to a few art galleries that had some amazing art.

Ah~ I love the atmosphere of that place!!! I love the streets and buildings...the cafes and shops. I'm definitely taking another trip there!
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AHH! I love it so much! I'm really not trying to hype it up or over exaggerate, but it really is an awesome place to be, especially if you love art. Art is just....*squeal* it's all over the place! Installation art, hanging art, the whole 9. We didn't even get to see everything because it's a fairly expansive place, but from what did see is enough to have me coming back for more. Next go round I will buy a few things from the shops :D
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LOVE. Although, I think it was fairly dangerous that the district had some for real construction sites and we were kind of walking next to it without hardhats....
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If you're ever in Beijing, this destination is a MUST. Expect to see a good bit of foreigners, but other than that, it's not too, too crowded. I mean, it's not empty, but you're not pulling your hair out in frustration because of obscenely large crowds.
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I had so much fun! Afterwards, we had to walk back to the bus station. It took about 20 minutes and it was getting pretty chilly. Jing Hui, one of the older students in our class (although she looks 20 something) treated us to some snacks. She also treated us to the wonderful feast of Korean food we had earlier. She's so nice :D Once we got on the bus, it was a good hour ride back to Wudaokou outside of campus.

The bus driver was pretty...well, crappy. He kept jerking to a stop. Like, you could tell he was already braking normally, then for whatever reason, he'd put some unnecessary amount of force on the brake and we'd all be jerked back and forth. I've been in Chinese public transportation before. I've been in taxis, busses, and subways, but never have I experienced anything like this. I'm not one to complain and I tend to roll with the punches, but this was different. I was standing for the ride, it was extremely crowded, and about fifteen minutes in, the constant jerking motions was making me nauseated. I tried to hold out and seriously thought about getting off at the next stop and just taking a taxi ride back. I could feel my heart rate speeding up and I tried closing my eyes and breathing deeply. As a last resort, I asked one of my classmates who was sitting near me if I could take his seat for a few minutes since I was feeling sick. I felt really bad because he was still getting over a hurt ankle and all the walking we did at 798 had some wear and tear on his healing.

Almost immediately after sitting down I felt much better.

After we got off, which was another fifteen minutes that I wouldn't have been able to keep my stomach contents in had I kept standing, my class mate let out a frustrated growl, "That was the WORST bus driver EVER!" We all laughed because it was true :/ I was glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Well, he wasn't the worst driver, but we all could have done without him constantly slamming on the breaks.

We took a taxi back to campus since it was too cold to walk and because our classmate had a hurt ankle. Now we have a running joke about busses in Beijing, haha.

Posted by CelLung 03:35 Archived in China Tagged art beijing district busses 798 midterms Comments (0)

Catching Up: One week at a time Part 4

Ah~ Monday, after my Tai Chi class, I went jogging...in 45 degree weather. It was so nice :D The previous week I finally bought some jogging/yoga pants. I was afraid they wouldn't have my size (Asians are so tiny and Americans are so...the complete opposite...). But! I found some and they fit quite nicely. They even have the draw string which is a plus.

This week (11/8-11/14) is the week of the competition, also known as cram time, haha.

Tuesday is my roommate's friend's last day here. I can't recall if I mentioned this already or not, so ignore it if I did (that's what I get for being so behind).

About a week and a half ago, my roomie comes in with her friend saying they've been "found out". The women behind the counter downstairs told them they've been "watching them" *creep much?* and that her friend has to move out immediately. I thought it took them a pretty long while-almost two weeks to find a pattern that the girl was being sneaked (snook?) in.

They tried to find a room in the guest house which is two buildings down from us, but it was full. Sooo...they had to find a hotel a little ways outside of campus. Helen (my roomie) stayed over with her friend every night since her friend didn't adjust well to new surroundings by herself. That's understandable and all, but Helen was staying over there every night for a little over two weeks. I would have thought her friend would *eventually* get used to being by herself for at least part of the day.

Helen still had night classes to go to, so sometimes her friend would hang out at our dorm but had to be gone by 11pm. I know I shouldn't project and that everyone is different...and it's not like I wouldn't make sacrifices for my friends or anything....but I'd try and get used to my new surroundings as soon as possible so I wouldn't be placing a burden on my friend. It'd be a bit different if my friend were from the States and they didn't want to stay in a Chinese hotel by themselves for the first few days, but...I don't know. I'm really not trying to paint a bad picture of myself (my biting sarcasm does that for me, fufufu...).

Anyway, I bring this up because Helen's friend had to go back home on Wednesday, 11/10. I suggested we go out for dinner together as a way to send her off but Helen had night classes :( Helen offered to bring back some food instead on her way back from class, so I said sure, a mini celebration would be nice.

I thought she was just going to bring back a few snacks.

I forgot she was Chinese, haha.

She brought back, if my memory serves correctly, an entire cooked chicken, minus the head/neck/feet, puff cream balls (they're called Papa Beards, methinks? There's this ice cream type substance they put into rounded puff pastry things. I had part of the green tea flavor, yum), rabbit tails which are the shorter version of mouse tails (both are hard/crunchy fried dough), and coconut milk.

Wow.

The ironic thing? This was the week I was being a pseudo-vegetarian and going without bread. I was mostly avoiding red meat and lamb as a mini detox, but I couldn't suggest we celebrate and then not eat half of what was used to celebrate :/ So I had some chicken which was really good, along with everything else that was quite yummeh.

Wednesday her friend left early in the morning. I was in class when they came back to gather the rest of her stuff to leave. :/

Thursday was the competition. I think things went smoothly. They divided everyone up between Beginner classes and Elementary/Advanced.
Ah, before that! Earlier in the day during class, I doodled....okay, I *drew* a Chinese dragon on the chalkboard next to where I sat. I hadn't popped one of those bad boys out in a while :o The

综合 teacher saw it and asked me if I could decorate the boards in the competition rooms. In the Beginner room I drew some flowers and a random mountain scene, and for the Elem/Advanced I drew a dragon and phoenix. I thought they deserved something a little more..."grand"..for getting so far in this butt kicker of a language, fufuu....

Anywho, we had some really good competition. The very first group had a part where they rapped in Chinese. It was very clever and the crowd really loved it. My group was 5th and my fellow classmates was 3rd. There were't that many group performances; most were individuals talking about their experiences in China and/or traveling to other parts of the world.

In the end, my classmates were one of the ones who won 2nd place :D I *told* them they won but they didn't believe me :P

The winning group followed by what I drew on the board, winning group, and group picture of the peeps in our class who participated (most of them).
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It felt SO good to have all of that over with, though. Words just cannot explain, haha.

That Sunday, my roomie thought my midterms were the following Monday, so she came home with all of this food! She is so sweet! She stopped by this restaurant and got strips of Beijing duck (including the onion, sauce, and pastry that goes with it), this unidentified vegetable that I think I've had before but never knew the name, rice, Mao's favorite....I forgot the name. It's the meat cut into cubes where most of it is fat and a bit at the top is actual meat. We only ate the Beijing duck that night (it was very good, especially the onions...I'm an onion fanatic...).

Sigh. It's good to be fueled on good food because the following week are the dreaded finals.

:*(

Posted by CelLung 03:03 Archived in China Tagged competition Comments (0)

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