Day Seven – Thursday, June 29
Officially one week into my China adventure! It honestly feels like I’ve been here for at least one month already, since my Chinese has improved drastically and I feel like I know the city and my host family very well already!
Today was also pretty normal as I just had school then afternoon free time. A few people moved from my class up to the higher level, and a few people moved into my class today. Other than that, we have had the same class dynamic – fun yet slightly slow. All of us felt like we were kind-of treading water in class, as we have all already learned the majority of our daily lessons. We told our head teacher that we felt this way after lunch, and she was willing to adjust the course to our level. Soon after, we were studying more characters and learning how to write them. Our teacher told us that we would have our first dictation quiz tomorrow! I was a little nervous for this because at Archmere we don’t have to memorize how to write the characters, just recognize them. However, my language partner and my host sister were more than willing to help me remember them!
For lunch, my language partner and I – along with a few other nsliy pairs – took the E-cart on campus to a farther canteen. It amazes me that each cafeteria on campus (there are 3) has very different types of Chinese food available. And, everything from the cafeteria is tasty and so cheap! Today, my language partner took me to a cool bubble tea shop after where I got one of the weirdest milk teas I’ve ever tasted. It was really good, but just generally confusing. It was white in color (as most milk teas are) but felt more watery than creamy/milky. It tasted just like matcha green tea, but was white. I was thoroughly confused by this drink!
In the afternoon, our teacher let us just practice writing the characters on our quiz tomorrow. She gave us each a calligraphy brush and “magic paper.” This paper turns dark like ink when water is painted on it, and fades away as the water dries. For me at least, this was a very fun afternoon.
After school ended, about half of us decided to go to Maan coffee and then to a restaurant for dinner. At Maan, I got an iced latte (it is impossible to find cold drinks here!) and we all just chilled for about 2 hours. Afterwards, we walked around the area; Katie and I led because we live very close to Maan and had explored the area before. However, our group couldn’t decide on a restaurant and some people eventually decided that they had to bus home before eating. Those of us who remained split up because we couldn’t decide. Anthony, Alec and I went into a normal looking Chinese restaurant for a quick bit. However, as soon as we sat down the waiter brought over 3 bowls of chicken foot soup – Anthony’s still had the actually foot in it! So we quickly ditched that place and went to a small noodle shop next door. However when we looked at the menu, we realized that every soup had cow or pig lung in it, so we ditched once again. Here, we decided to split up. I just walked home and ate a small bite there (it was actually kind-of nice not to be stuffed full) and Anthony went back to Maan for waffles. Alec just took the bus home. In all, this evening was a major fail on behalf of us 外国人 (foreigners).
On a better note, my host sister is so cute! I gave her spirograph as a gift, and she plays with it every night! I really like just walking and chatting with her!