Getting Used to China


Sorry it has taken so long to update this. The last few days have been hectic. Friday I went out to Wudaokou with some friends. This is where the local mall is as well as a bunch of American inspired restaurants and dance clubs. We spent a while walking through the stores in the mall and some of the smaller mom-and-pop shops. After, we went to Pyro Pizza for dinner. Not only do they have great pizza, they have amazing dessert. We all split a giant chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream on top. I cannot begin to tell you how happy this made me. Not only was I satisfying my chocolate craving, the cookie made me feel as if I was at home and just out with some friends.

Saturday, our program set up a mountain hike for us. “A mountain hike,” I thought, “that could be relaxing.” I was wrong. What the program failed to tell us was the hike was pretty much straight up a mountain side. It involved a couple miles of steep incline followed by 1299 stairs to the top. On top of this, we did it in 80 degree weather. Don’t get me wrong, the hike was fun and view was amazing but I wished I had been a little more prepared. On the plus side, I was the first of my group up to the top which I think impressed some of the guys. Apparently all my hiking around Yosemite did me some good. As a reward for getting to the top, we all got key chains when we got back to the buses. I know that it isn’t much but I swear, every time I look at that little key chain, I will remember that hike.

So, although Saturday was a pretty good day, Saturday night was not so good. My roommate, a friend and myself all went to dinner at a local restaurant. I am not sure what I ate there but I will never go there again. I ended up being sick all night and most of the next day. It was terrible. As of right now, I have had enough Chinese food for awhile. All I want is a big American hamburger.

Again, let me remind you that I am having fun here but there are definitely things that I have to get used to. First being cockroaches. They have infested our building. You cannot walk down the hallway or down the stairs without seeing a couple live or dead ones. Today, as the maid was changing my bed, she lifted the duvet and two big cockroaches scuttled out. So, in case you haven’t figured it out, I have been sleeping with cockroaches. Second thing I am going to have to get used to is the internet. For some reason, our internet has issues staying on. We will be in the middle of doing something online and it will just shut off. On Sunday, our internet was out for a little over nine hours. Now, I did bring other things to do besides play on the computer but unfortunately, I had homework due. This meant I had to crawl through the bushes in the middle of the night to reach the signal coming from the history department (the only place on campus we have access to internet other than our dorms). I did get it turned in eventually but not without my share of bug bites. Third, I will not get used to the showers here. The school shuts off our hot water during the day so if you want to take a shower, you have to take it in cold water. I believe they shut it off about 9 or 10am in the morning and do not turn it back on until about 8pm. They also turn the hot water off in the middle of the night so, if you are up late doing homework, you are out of luck. Finally, I do not think I will ever be used to the spiting. Most Chinese do not think it is bad manners to hock a loggie in public. So, everywhere you go, men and women alike are spitting out their loggies. AKA watch out!

It is now Monday and thus, another week of school has started. I am meeting with my Chinese conversation partner today. Hopefully with enough sessions with her, I will be a Chinese speaking machine!

Until next time, Ashley.


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