Tuesday, March 3, 2009
the INTENSIVE is OVER!
finally, our winter intensive (5 days a week teaching) is over. we finished up last friday, and i attended the parent meetings- it was kind of fun. it's neat to see your students sitting with their parents, especially to see how much the kids look like their parents. i was really happy, because at the beginning of teaching this set of students (back in september) i was a little nervous that i would see the kids around town and not recognize them... but NOW not only do i recognize them, but i ALSO know them well enough to see how much they resemble their parents... try pretty much as soon as i finished teaching (and having an ultra life changing KTV night saying goodbye to some delightful friends who are leaving the country), i hopped on a train south... or so i thought. i caught my train with ten minutes to spare (which is pretty much a miracle for me) and made my way to my compartment. lucky for me, i somehow ended up on the train that runs from lhasa to guangzhou- which means it is a VERY nice train. i shared the compartment with a nice woman who gave me bread, a muslim woman who was very actively breastfeeding her one month old child (which i thought was a boy, but later thought was a girl... it was all very confusing), the muslim woman's younger brother, and about five men who are all coworker s that sell something like... piping? i didn't really understand everything, and we spent a lot of time making fun of my chinese- which was awesome. at one point i got the words for 'watermelon' and 'accustomed to' confused- they are 'xi gua' and 'xi guan', respectively. it seems easy to me, but they pretty much split their sides laughing at me. i'm getting really used to being a source of entertainment for people, especially because of my bumbling chinese. but i'm getting by, and the men saw me off the train to my bus, and it was very lovely and kind. and now i am in changsha. it is a different type of chinese city- it seems much more chinese than xining. there are skinned dogs hanging in the alley, next to baskets of snakes and bird cages and piles upon piles of bloody turtle shells. and it's smoggy and i bought a new umbrella to combat the rain. and it is much bigger here- they have at least 4 KFC's (that is how many i have seen so far). i will set out and do more exploring here- i'm working on buying a new camera, because mine ( i think) got stolen and it is always sad to not have photos of these things. i hope all is well. i promise that when i get back from my trip i will do a big post about chinese new year and things of that sort. hope all is well. i miss you.