7/18 – Kickin’ it at the Mall

Day Twenty-Six – Tuesday, July 18

I was bummed when I woke up this morning because I was wishing that we wouldn’t have school.  Even though the monsoon wasn’t too severe yet (tomorrow should be much worse), I was still wishing for a school delay so I could sleep in!

Once again, nothing stood out to me at school.  I do feel like I am now really learning in my class – the head TA (Shuo Ning Ge Ge) is leading us in a small grammar unit each day.  We have learned several different connectives (so, for, and, but, not only.. but also, etc.), which really help me when I’m trying to form cohesive sentences.  I’ve realized that while I’ve been in China I’ve become much more conversational with the words and grammar I already know, but am still speaking with incredibly basic sentence structure and (usually) wrong grammar.  I can definitely get my point across with locals, but these lessons in school are really helping me begin to speak like an intelligent being!

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Matthew, Anthony, me, and Katie

After school, I went back to Yang Ming mall with a couple friends and language partners. Anthony, Katie, Nina (Anthony’s LP), and Lilly (Katie’s LP) and I all took the bus together.  I’m bummed that my LP hasn’t been able to do too much stuff with me outside of school; she is incredibly busy with school work and learning to drive.  Lilly (her roommate) told me that Meng Nan has been studying really hard lately because she wants to get into a prestigious graduate school for teaching in Hong Kong in two years (schools are much harder to get into in China!)  At the mall, we cruised through a bunch of stores without really buying much.  We also ran into Lexi, Emily (Lexi’s LP), Maggie, Matthew, and BBC (David’s LP)!  We wanted to go to different shops, but met up with some of them for dinner.  Next at Sephora, Katie and I did Anthony’s makeup, which was really fun and amazing.  The store keeper was clearly confused, but really nice and let us use their brushes and tester makeup for free.  Afterwards, Nina tried to distance herself as much as possible from Anthony!

For dinner, we decided to go to one of Lilly’s favorite restaurants there.  It specialized in noodles, and we ordered a couple of noodle dishes and other Chinese food to eat family style (almost every restaurant in China is family style – the plates aren’t individual).  After dinner, Matthew and I left to try and figure out the bus system to get home.  It had begun to pour rain outside, and was pretty miserable walking around the sidewalks.  I helped Matthew figure out which bus to get on, and his bus came immediately.  From the app I was using, I could tell I needed bus number 8, but I was unsure if I was on the right side of the road.  I didn’t think I was from the route that was posted at the stop, but it was all in Chinese so I wasn’t really sure.  So I asked a few different people at the bus stop for help – I showed them where I wanted to go and asked if I was at the right stop or if I needed to cross the street.  Everyone was very nice and told me to cross the street.  This was a big accomplishment for me because I was able to use Chinese to ask a local a question, and because I figured out the bus route without anyone telling me what to do in English!