18.05.2015 - 26.05.2015
On Tuesday, I had my weekly meeting with my Chinese teacher, Zhou laoshi, and her daughter to whom I teach English. We’ve been meeting at a small café inside a small community for retired college teachers. Every week, my teacher orders me a cup of green tea, my favorite, and some food for her daughter and I to share. My student calls me gege meaning elder brother; what a cute kid! Her English is very good and her knowledge of English vocabulary is broad. She is entering a competition for English speaking next week and I am confident that she will do well. I sat down with my professor and she helped me review for my final exams the following week. At the end of our session, she gave me a gift of two bags of fine, Sichuanese green tea. I am so grateful. We thanked each other for everything and said goodbye. She is the most experienced Chinese teacher that I’ve ever had and I feel very lucky to have had her as my professor.
The following day, I was asked to go to the swimming pool with some Chinese friends I met the week before. I paid the equivalent of one dollar for a pass and walked through the door. There were so many people that I wasn’t sure that we’d have any room to swim. There must have been several hundred people! To my surprise, there was plenty of room to swim. We played some Chinese games that I had never heard of before and I taught them Chicken, an American game in which one person sits on the shoulders of another person and battles another team in the same fashion. The team that can knock the other person off of their partner’s shoulders wins. Five minutes after we stared, the life guard demanded that we stop and threatened to kick us all out. I suppose my idea of fun does not coincide with that lifeguard.
That night, I went to the bar to celebrate my friend’s birthday and met a group of Chinese people who were celebrating their own friend’s birthday. I ended up spending my entire evening with the Chinese group who taught me Chinese drinking games, songs and stories. I’ve noticed that many of the Chinese commonly pour shots of beer into shot glasses instead of using a large glass or the bottle. After a few beers, they asked me to join their group of fifteen for a late night dinner across the street. The restaurant was full with Chinese people and I was the only foreigner. I soon discovered that everybody I was with were in their mid-thirties. They could not believe that I was only twenty! We ate hot pot, several whole fish and some tasty vegetable dishes. The Chinese sure know how to have a good meal!
My entire weekend was spent studying for my final exams; three tests and two essays. All of my finals count as fifty percent of my final grade, so I have to do well. I studied fifteen chapters, focusing on five chapters a day. My days consisted of waking up, eating breakfast, studying for five hours, eating lunch, studying some more, eating dinner and studying until bed time. As one could imagine, I feel I am very well prepared for me tests. I cannot even believe that I am writing my second to last blog entry; where does the time go? I will be home in less than a week so I need to make the best of my time here while I can. Wish me luck on my exams!