A Travellerspoint blog

Catching Up: One week at a time Part 3

I'm getting there!

Ah~where has October gone?

The competition (originally held this coming Thursday, 11/4) has been mercifully pushed back to 11/11. In the meantime, my groupmates and I are practicing our skit.

Our 综合teacher, who we later found out was one of the judges, fufu, offered to help us with pronunciation and all that good stuff.

By midweek we were very close to memorizing all of it. Alfie, the gameshow host, had the most to say, so he understandably took a little longer to get his part down. It didn't matter to me, I was doing all of this for the experience and practice. Alfie's a really funny guy, so he was doing a great job of portraying a happy go lucky host.

On Wednesday, I think?....We met up dorm 20 (my dorm) to practice in one of the study rooms. It was a night and the room had these large windows on one side of the wall. We were silently going over our parts before we practiced out loud while Wen Mei sat there idly staring off since her part was so easy. I noticed she kept looking towards the window but I shrugged it off thinking she was just zoning out or something.

We practice our skit about four times:

Alfie comes in and introduces the show and the contestants (we have corny gameshow music in the background). Min Hui introduces herself, saying she's bankrupt, I introduce myself, saying I want to return to Mongolia to eat lots of lamb and drink milk to become strong, and Wen Mei plays the confused foreigner who can't understand what anybody is saying.

The first question is about a Chinese idiom we learned in class: 笨鸟先飞 more or less meaning the slowest (or in some cases, dumbest) bird must fly first. It ultimately means if you're kind of slow/behind, you have to put in the extra hard work.

Anywho, 鸟and飞 were left out in the question and we had multiple choice answers. Min Hui and I get it wrong, while Wen Mei picks up a flower and goes "B...C...B...C..."while pulling off each respective petal. By guessing she gets it right.

The last question is "What do you think of this man's picture" and we show a picture of him posing, haha.

Min Hui says he's not handsome, I can't answer because I have a boyfriend, and Wen Mei sounds out the word "shuai" which, given the proper tone (4th) means "handsome".

So, she wins and gets 3.50 yuan as a prize, haha.

While she was waiting for her turn to go during the skit, I kept noticing she was turning towards the windows and looking out.

Alfie then mentions right before we all leave "I've never seen a girl check herself out so much."

Jesus Herbert Christ.

I too have never seen such a vain creature. I mean, the number of times she was looking at herself....

I don't know, I was raised to be humble. The only time I really, really look in a mirror is when I'm drawing a portrait of myself. The rest are just passing glances.

I know it's a personal problem, but vain people really annoy me on a fundamental level. The background to her phone is even a picture of herself. Yikes.

Yes, I know it's a personal problem, I really do. But damn. On a fundamental level....damn.

Posted by CelLung 07:03 Archived in China Tagged practice skit Comments (0)

Catching Up: One week at a time Part 2

Not too much went on this week. Midterms are looming in the distant future, but everything else is pretty ho hum. After calming down from my Western Union escapades, I started snack shopping for my dad so I have stuff to send back. The Lotus Center was having a sale on all these dishes :O I decided to make a separate trip for the dishes since they were kind of heavy (don't know why China likes their dishes so thick *that's what she said*).

Taiji is going well. I need to limber up a bit more. Fie on me for not keeping up with Yoga, haha.

I'm continuing my ab workouts at this point. I don't want to be ripped (those look kind of scary, with all due respect). It's just...I'm a jogger, so my legs are in good condition, but I have almost no mid and upper body strength. I'd like to be "evened out", if you will.

ANYWHO, this blog isn't about exercise routines. Back to China...

Halloween...I don't even remember what happened or what I did. Being a college kid, I realize holidays will occur whether I celebrate (or remember) them.

Aw man, I suck. I can't remember anything. Other than some light food shopping, this is about it.

Oh yes! I wore purple on October 20th :) Luckily I happened to bring a purple shirt with me.

I don't recall if I mentioned this already or not, but I found the lake on campus. It's really pretty, and there was this lookout with a spiral staircase :D I've been meaning to return but I haven't had the time as of late.

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The leaves are really starting to change, especially the Ginkgo trees. They have such blinding yellow leaves.

And I mean *blinding*.

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My group finally figured out (near the end of this week) what we're going to do for our competition.

A gameshow :D

Joe, one of our classmates who is also performing, showed us an SNL clip of Chris Farley on a Japanese game show (headed my Mike Myers).

http://www.hulu.com/watch/18882/saturday-night-live-japanese-game-show

Alfie was the gameshow host, Ming Hui was a bankrupt contestant, I was from Mongolia, and Wen Mei was a foreign tourist who could barely speak Chinese.

Buuuut...to keep up with the time frame, I'll post the details in the next blog or two :P

Posted by CelLung 06:38 Archived in China Comments (0)

Catching Up: One week at a time Part 1

I'M SO BEHIND!

30 °F

I know, I know.

I suck D:

My past month has been a crazy whirlwind of grades and grades and...grades.

I'm a little over a month behind, so I'll remember what I can D: I jotted down notes of important events so I wouldn't forget them.

The next few entries will summarize a week at a time of what's been going down....and a LOT has been going down.

  • deep breath*

Covering 10/18-10/24

Monday (10/18) I had a test in my 综合 class that I ended up doing well on. She didn't give a number grade for this one, but I'll take a 很好!as a sign that I did well. I didn't miss too much and the test itself was fairly easy.

I've also started up Taichi class for the next ten Mondays from 5-6:30pm. The teacher is very patient and I'm learning how to take direction in Chinese, haha. She speaks English as well, but since we're all Chinese language students, why not test out our linguistic skills, eh? I FINALLY get to learn Tai Chi! I'm so happy :D At GSU it was cheaper ($20 for 13-ish classes versus $60 for 10) but my dad said I was learning "the real thing in China". Haha, I'm pretty sure location has nothing to do with it if one has a good teacher, but what's done is done, and I'm getting my lessons. When I'm done, I'll find a park and impress passerbys with my 外国人 Tai Chi skills.

Other than that, I've noticed a bit of...pudge I'm acquiring :( It's the damn bread! The damn good..cheap...delicious...cheap bread. One bread that I frequently got had a straight up layer of solidified sugar in the middle :/ I would take a lot of it out since that much sugar in general kind of makes me ill. They also have this bun with some chocolate substance in it. It's not European chocolate by a LONG shot, but it tasted interesting. All in all, the bread is good and I've fallen a victim to if for so long.

SO! I started a crunch exercise regimen. 3-4 different crunch styles (a medley of long arm, bicycle, reverse crunch, vertical crunch) 3-4 times a week at 3-4 reps of 12-16. Lots of numbers, I know.

There's a soccer field a few second's bike ride from the dorms, but they play a lot of soccer there and I don't want to get nailed in the head by a soccer ball. I'd also have to wait until the metal nunchuck-swinging kids left, haha. Night is my best time (unless I get my lazy bum out of bed in the morn) but I want to be careful of the cold. I love cold weather, but if it will risk my health...well, I may do it anyway.

OH. HAHA. WESTERN UNION, THE SUNUVABITCH.

Excuse my language.

No, I don't apologize.

Somewhere between Western Union and my bank can go such barbed wire.

Let me tell you the tale of my woes.

I call my bank arouuund....October 22? I wanted the money by the weekend so I could go shopping (mostly for my dad...he's hitting me up for shoes and shirts...). I tell them all the information they need. Name and location and blah and yadda. I halfway assumed that since I already had a successful money transfer last month, that all my stuff was already in the system. One of the women I was transfered to even REMEMBERED me from the first time. But still, I double check.

I tell them about my name and how my passport has my first name as my first AND middle names. I tell the lady this and she replies "Yes, we'll change it." It kind of felt like she was rushing me off the phone >:( My idiot self thinks "I've done this before, I'm in the system, especially the government's because this bank is on a military base, so they'll have my middle name on file."

I got to the post office on campus that has a W.Union thinking "this will go smoothly."

I get there, I fill out the paper work, and hand it in.

The fun begins.

The lady tells me (in Chinese) that my name is incorrect.

I'm swearing SO much in my head at this point. The last thing I need is a repeat of last year.

I ask her why and she keeps pointing to the last of my middle names. She then calls who I assume to be the China line of Western Union. She eventually hands the phone to me and the lady on the phone keeps telling me (in English) that my name is incorrect. I'm not sure how well I hid my ire, but I tried my best. The teller didn't speak English, so she handed me this sheet that had bilingual explanations on it. The one she pointed to translated to something "The information does not match, the form is completed incorrectly...Fat person Health...". The Engrish lightened my mood just a bit, so I thanked them and left, ready to battle it out with my bank.

Here's where the 12 hour time difference sucked :( I had to wait until 9pm my time for my bank to open in the States.

So I waited.

Around 9:07 (I gave them a few minutes to set up) I called my bank asking to confirm how my name appeared in their system.

To my dismay, for my last middle name, they only put "C" instead of SPELLING IT OUT. DKJKN LVNKEIJ ;39W847Y3W!!!!

I tell them to change it in the system so the entire thing is spelled out. This is the same woman who remembered me, too.

With that cleared, I tried again the next day, 10/23.

"Your name is incorrect."

What...the fornicating goat...in hell...in heaven...in between...in Oz....is going on?

So I wait til 9pm my time to call them up.

"My name...I'd like to know how it appears in your system. I'm having issues with Western Union since my name is misspelled somewhere in the ether of you guy's system. Please spell it out."

When they get to the last of my middle names, "C-H-A-N."

  • brief pause* "It's C-H-I-N."

"Oh! I'm sorry."

"......."

If I wasn't going back and forth kind of sort of wasting my time, I wouldn't be so pissed. Honestly, I'm normally a LOT more patient with mistakes, because everyone makes them, but the whole crappy bout with Western Union/bank I had last year has really left with a shortened tolerance this time around.

So the NEXT day:

"Your sender information is incorrect."

I put myself as the sender.

Okay, get this. When I did a money transfer in September, I put myself as the sender AND IT WORKED. So either someone is lying or that employee needs to be fired for doing his job wrong. I was so pissed.

Again, a phone is handed to me with a woman on the line saying "Your sender information is incorrect. It doesn't match our system. You should talk to your bank. "

What the bloody fornicating hell? Nothing made sense to me at this point. I was ready to punch my bank in the FACE.

But this time, I was heading to the SOURCE.

Western Union.

After pressing a million buttons, I finally got to an actual human being. I gave them my MTN number and they pulled up my info. I asked them who the sender should be.

"Your bank." Was their reply.

Erm....okay. That's not what I filled out the first time and everything went through. Maybe there was a change in the law? Who knows? CERTAINLY NOT ME.

And just to double check, "How does my name appear in your system?"

After confirming that, I went back the NEXT day.

"Your sender information is incorrect."

LDKBJ MRM 23-P;LKJNDd LDKDKLDlkjOIpoihbNNIU88765OLKD V!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was out for blood at this point. I didn't know who was going down first, Western Union or my bank, but was going to be one or both.

Completely bypassing my bank, I called W.Union.

"Who should the sender be?"

"Your bank."

"Okay, please tell me how it appears in your system."

They ABBREVIATED THE STUPID NAME. MOTHER FRICK.

I write it down and go back the NEXT day.

It FINALLY goes through. GUH.

Next time I'm just getting a damn debit card and cancelling the card when I get back to the States (I'm a credit card gal). It was SO frustrating. I must have looked so incompetent to the Chinese bank employees, yeesh.

Blood pressure is thiiiiis high *peers at the clouds*

Oh yes, and in the course of this week (I think...) I signed up for a speech competition on campus. It was kind of on impulse to be honest. The 综合 teacher was asking who would like to participate (since the competition date was Nov.11) and one of my classmates asked me if I could do it. I said sure, and before I knew it, I was signed up. I thought this was more of a "who's interested" deal, but alas.....

Soooo....this is my summary for the first week I missed. Sorry if there are any typos or horrific grammar mistakes.

It's 1:17am right now :/ I'm a lil sleepy.

Next up (the blog that will be typed tomorrow) will cover progress on the competition I unwittingly signed up for, haha.

Until then, 再见 :D

Posted by CelLung 08:07 Archived in China Tagged western late post competition union blog sucks Comments (0)

我很忙!

D:

46 °F

Okay, for the past...very long while...I've been getting pimp slapped by tests, those darn "fill-in-the-blank-read-out-loud" deal for my speech class, aaand....

a speech competition!

Yes, I signed up for it. I'm doing a group presentation with a game show theme. It's pretty funny, but there's been a whole fiasco with the computer, compatibility issues, working powerpoint, etc.

I will elaborate on that and the...three weeks that led up to it? I'm so behind, UGH.

Just know that (my) tomorrow, 11/11/2010 (go figs...) at 5:30...it will all go down. The levels are all separated, so the advanced people will be performing in another room. I want to see their performances :D

Anywho, I'll try and remember to give someone my camera so they can take pictures.

For now, I must shower, then read/memorize tomorrow's passage for a possible evil fill in the blank thinger.

I also have midterms next week >:( One next Thursday and two the day after.

Sooooo....if I'm going to update, it pretty much has to be before Sunday, haha. I likes to study early.

Anywhoozles, I'm sure all of our performances will be awesome possum. I don't know what the prizes are, but I'm doing it for the speech experience (and we get a handy dandy certificate of participation).

Yeah.

Sorry again for lack of updates, youse guys.

P.S. Western Union is still a rat bastard :P

P.P.S. China's lack of daylight savings for this go 'round is really going to mess me up when I come back to the States. Nothing like being thirteen hours off instead of twelve. Gah.

Posted by CelLung 06:31 Archived in China Comments (0)

Filler blog :0

Just a short notice on events...

50 °F

I'm still alive.

I'm just extremely busy :0

Last week was a test literally every other day :(

And this week has been a tad demanding for it's own reasons which will be expounded upon when I'm NOT writing a speech for class.

Just letting you all know ( I refuse to use "ya'll") that I'm not bumming around and being lazy, I'm McLegit busy with a Sino-Tibetan language that takes no prisoners.

Just so's ya know :)

Oh yeah...

I can't wait until they turn the heat on in our rooms :/

Posted by CelLung 03:12 Archived in China Comments (0)

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