Thursday, June 25, 2009

同屋来了! Roommates have arrived!

Pretty much everyone's roommate arrived yesterday. My roommate's name is Chun Chi-ting (pronounced choon chur-ting, kinda). I'm pretty sure she told me she's from Inner Mongolia, but we were speaking all in Chinese so I could be completely wrong. I got that her hometown is on a plateau... or would it be a basin? I don't know enough about Mongolia. Well, here's a pic of her, not the greatest pic, but I'm sure I'll have many more by the end of the summer. We're at a Uighur restaurant, Uighurs are the Muslim people who live in Xinjiang province which is right by Kazakhstan.

I still haven't worked out a schedule for myself yet that balances work and play... and my air conditioning stopped blowing cold air and has only been blowing hot air so I've been taking lots of naps because it makes me so sleepy. Now that I know what to expect each day, hopefully I'll be able to focus on just doing what's necessary so I'm not wasting a bunch of time. Our first test was today, it was on the 4 chapters we studied this week... didn't do too great but that's ok because next week I'll know the format of the test. Zhou Laoshi (teacher Zhou) told us all about it, except she told us in Chinese so I didn't really catch much. Writing in English is so weird! And then people keep walking by my door and saying "ni hao" and I want to reply in English... my brain is confused.

Speaking of having a confused brain, apparently on wednesdays from 8:30pm to 9 we can speak English in this one room on my floor, when I went in everyone was pretty crazy. I was thinking in Chinese but trying to speak English so it was like a reverse Chingrish going on. A lot of the guys had fun shouting swear words because the only one that any of us know besides the f-word, which you really don't say here at all because it's just too strong of a swear, is "zao gao" which pretty much means "shoot." Plus it's all first tone, which is the high, level tone, so you can't really make it sound angry. Look at how happy they are to speak Engrish!:

This fine gentleman is demonstrating how many older Chinese men beat the heat when they're walking down the street (I promise, that rhyme was unintentional):

I don't get how displaying your potbelly could ever be a good thing, but hey, maybe it helps. Man, I almost forgot to tell you! It's been getting up to a hundred degrees for the past couple days now... I miss Michigan's summer, never thought I'd say that. I'm constantly sweaty and smelly, but hopefully I'll get used to it. I need to buy one of those pretty sun umbrellas girls carry around with them here.

A couple of the girls and I went to a cute little cafe to do homework a couple days ago and I ordered what I thought was a smoothie, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by receiving this instead:

That's melon ice cream on the top, pieces of mango and watermelon, underneath is a lot of shredded ice, I think there was something milky/creamy in there too. 好吃!Hao-chi, delicious!

CET gave us 70 kuai to take our roommates out to dinner last night, so we chose the Uhigher restaurant I mentioned above. A lot of the dishes we ordered were spicy, but I don't know if that was just because we chose the spicy ones or if Xinjiang food is spicy. We ate eggplant again, which I've insisted on ordering every time we go out because it's my new favorite Chinese dish. I'm not sure if I've ever had eggplant in the States, but everyone says it's cooked waaaay better here. I agree from what I've tasted. We also got yoghurt, which I think is a Uhigher thing, but I could be totally wrong because it tasted like the yoghurt they have in the cafteteria and apparently it's the same as the stuff they sell in little jars on the street. I still not daring enough to try one, but one of the guys did. I'll have to ask how his bowels liked it and then maybe I'll give it a try.
Yoghurt (it's pretty much everyone's favorite thing to eat in the cafeteria):

A handful of us went to the restaurant, here we are with our roommates:

For now,

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