7/24 – Language Pledge

Day Thirty-Two – Monday, July 24

It’s crazy to think that we are embarking on our last full week of classes.  It’s even crazier to think that for the past five weeks of my summer, I’ve been waking up at 6:30am!

Today’s classes were super fun because all three of our TAs were finally back.  Last week, Kaylie and ZhuZhu were helping with another foreign exchange program so they weren’t with us, and they were both sick on Saturday.  While it was so much fun spending a ton of time with Shuo Ning, I think all the TAs complement each other and our class has a ton of fun chatting with the three of them!  We ordered lunch to be delivered to the classroom today, so we got to spend even more time with the TAs.  They are all close friends and classmates and love to sing and dance together during our lunch breaks – my heart honestly melts watching them!!!

Today after class I decided to just go straight home.  After a brief rest at home, I went out alone to walk around a bunch of cute shops near my house.  I went into a few clothing stores and passed off as a local in most… until I had to talk to the shop owner at one where I tried on a dress.  Every time I say “我是一位美国学生” (I’m an American student) the store owner always replies “真的吗!你像是中国人!” (Really, you look Chinese!).  I’ve gotten used to it and it’s pretty funny, but also kind of annoying because just since I look Chinese people think it’s so weird that I can’t speak fluently.

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My sister’s friend, my sister, and me

For dinner, my mom, sister and I met up with my sisters best friend and her mom at a restaurant in Gongbei.  We ate coconut chicken cooked in a hot pot, along with fried rice and other classic hot pot meats.  I thought it was pretty good, but spending time with my sister’s friends is always awkward.  Her friend didn’t want to talk to me (even when I tried to initiate conversation) and was always just talking with my sister (because they are friends).  The two moms were also talking, so I was just awkwardly there… it was still a good night though!  And the restaurant had live music and people could use their wechat to play games on the screen!  It was pretty cool.

We all decided to take a language pledge today! Basically, this means that we promise not to use English and only Chinese all day. It was definitely hard, but the weird thing was that it didn’t feel that different than any other day. School was probably the hardest part just because I was surrounded by other Americans – I’ll admit that I slipped up a few times throughout the day but I’m proud of myself for mainly using Chinese!!