Monday, September 22, 2008

My first official sickness!

After an entire weekend of American food when your stomach is on a Chinese diet, you gain a stronger relationship with your toilet. Monday morning around 5:45 I woke up and became best friends with Tootles (that's my toilets new name). After around an 1 1/2 to 2 hour chit-chat with tootles I was ready to begin my day...

I was a little afraid to eat Monday because I figured tootles was a little tired of me so around 9 I had a tiny granola bar, not really much. Around two o'clock I had to take a 45 minute bus ride to the police station to get my residence permit. It was me, Daniel, Danny (my waibon), Paul & Janina (the German foreigner teachers). The whole time I was at the police station I had a headache, my stomach hurt, and I just felt awful. Around 4 we left back out into the raging heat of Wuhan! When we made it to the bus stop, my head got cloudy, I couldn't hear anything, I wanted to throw up, and Paul said I looked pale. I knew I was about to pass out and I've never felt that way in my entire life! Danny, Daniel, and I took a cab back to school. When we got back around 5 I went straight to bed and woke up around 8.

So, there is my first bout of sickness in China. One down, I'm sure quite a few to go!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Water + Popcorn Chicken

No water from 9pm Sunday to 9pm Monday.... Jeremy says this is a regular happening so Daniel and I went out and bought pink buckets to put next to our toilets so we can use them tomorrow.

I learned how to say popcorn chicken which is at one of our favorite tiny restuarants where the owner speaks English but his wife and the two girls that work there do not. I really want to be able to order and talk to them in Chinese so we're working on learning their menu... Popcorn chicken sounds like "johnny whua" so in case you're in a foreign country that speaks Chinese and you have to order popcorn chicken, you can thank me :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mary Poppins

Today I felt like Mary Poppins...

We're having our monthly get together at Carole's apartment today and we're having chicken tacos. So, this morning we got up and needed to go to the supermarket. Well, Carole and I took bikes to the supermarket!! I felt like Mary Poppins when she's riding on her bike! It was about a 10 minute bike ride and you have to cross some streets, go through this tree covered bike lane that has three large giraffees hidden in them. There is a mini effiel tower, because she lives close to the French district here in Wuhan. It was such a fun bike ride! I haven't ridden a bike since middle school. It reminded me of my friend, Katie Graves, we used to go on the longest bike rides around the country by my house!

P.S. Carole's supermarket has one of my new favorite stores in it. It's called a theater, it's a store that purely stocks imported food. I got some cheese for the chicken tacos and two DR. PEPPERS!!!! Yeah... that's right!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008



So, the Chinese try to use English as much as possible in daily talking, advertisements, clothing, any product that they want to sell because English is cool. There are so many horrible English translations that it tickles me constantly.

1. I bought some cotton balls to use toner on my face. The cotton balls were called tampons! The toner says "instantly vivifies for a supple skin" What in the world is vivifies?

2. There is an office building on the Navy School and it said something something Soffice. SOFFICE!

3. There is a museum on our usual route on the bus called the sexology museum. We have no clue what kind of museum is but it's the sexology museum!!!

4. They use phrases like "happy everyday!"

I will have phrase updates! Keep looking!!!

The Random Things Going on in China


Tonight one of the old teachers friends, Sunny Lou, took us to the University for the Navy here so we could go swimming in their pool. You have to pay to use this pool but anybody can swim in it. Wait, let me rephrase, any CHINESE person can swim in it. We as foreigners were denied entrance to the pool. We could do anything else we wanted including badminton, table tennis, karate, and so on. But, for some unknown reason because of military security we could not go into the pool. We try to rent rackets for badminton and all of the sudden they are out. We move on to table tennis where for once we were not denied, yet when we started playing we were told to quiet down! We still made it a blast!!!

After getting gross and sweaty from table tennis we started to leave and passed by this training room for very young kids to learn table tennis and they were RIDICULOUSLY good. These five year olds were schooling their instructor. It was crazy and they absolutely loved staring at the foreigners, one little boy came up to us and held a very basic but good conversation with us.
He said, hello.. how are you... I'm good.. What is your name. His english name was Jack. He was SO cute!!

Last night, I had one of my classes over to my apartment to watch Kung Fu Panda and just to visit. They actually had already seen the movie which made it not as fun because they didn't laugh as much. I asked them afterwards what their favorite movies were, and I got answers such as High School Musical and Titanic. It was great. They liked Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. I love these students!!

I have so much to say and not enough time!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Massage & Facial

I need to get on here everyday because so much has happened!!

Today Danielle, Carole, and I went out to get a facial done. Because we're foreigners we're either taken advantage of or given extra perks in any given situation, and in our facials we were totally given some perks! Our facials took about forty-five minutes including our shoulders being massaged our arms and hands. But, that's not all that the Chinese people massage. They massaged our chest and by chest... I mean chest!! I would have been super uncomfortable had it not felt sooo good. Who would have known how much stress you carry in that area!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Military Training

When learning my schedule to teach I noticed that my freshman class would be starting three weeks after all of my other classes and when I asked why I was told that every freshman is required by China to go through military training prior to starting classes. I heard it and thought it was weird, but as of last night when they started now I'm just straight up intimidated and scared!! Okay, maybe not scared but it is quite insane. I was walking across campus at night, actually for the first time by myself, and I hear random large groups singing at the same time when I pass by the soccer field I see hundreds of students sitting learning to sing what I assume to be some national military song but it was very awe inspiring to see hundreds of Chinese teenagers in camo sitting staring and mocking a military commander. As I passed by I saw another group of boys learning to sharply turn on command, I kept seeing some trying to sneak a peek at the foreigner passing by (most freshman have never seen a foreigner).... Since 8 this morning until now which is 5:33 these freshman have been training on how to march, turn, chant, etc. It's crazy to see.


First, I'm determined to keep up with this even though I have only posted once. I will continue to blog!!

My favorite part of being in China as a foreigner thus far has definitely had to be dancing on the street with old men!! A few days ago, Danielle, Daniel (We're now calling Whitt), William (a teacher from another city in China who came to visit), and myself were walking back to Danielle's apartment and we passed by this street corner where every week night about 100 older Chinese individuals come to dance to traditional Chinese music that is blaring. As we were walking by, Danielle and I paused because we wanted to dance but how do you involve yourself on a dance you don't know, with people you don't know, in a culture that you aren't familiar with, and when you don't even know how to communicate with them!?! Body language! An older gentleman (70s) came up and asked me to dance by extending his hands, we danced for about five minutes and he was great at leading me and directing me where to go, I was quite nervous because by that time everybody realized 'Hey... there are foreigners who look like idiots trying to dance!!' and we were being stared at by just about everybody. I got nervous and stopped dancing but another man (50s) came up and insisted I dance with him. I ended up dancing with him for about twenty minutes. There were many steps, many complicated twists and turns but he was great at nonverbally teaching me! I had so much and everybody expressed that we should come back whenever we could. I definitely plan to!!