A much-needed update

It’s been too long since I’ve logged into my small little corner of the web.

I had asked for feedback via email from my readers but received limited response. I will thus create my own formula for this blog: a combination of my daily life in addition to commentary on various media articles discussing contemporary China. This might all be interspersed with my trials and tribulations into the world of Chinese language learning. I also want this to be a platform for readers to ask me questions regarding “all things China.” This blog doesn’t necessarily have to benefit just me, but there are many misconstrued notions out there, in regards to China. I want to dispel some myths/stereotypes/notions that us Westerners (I am not excluding myself) seem to have about China, thanks in particular to the evil ways in which the Western media, particularly the United States, reports the ongoings in and about China.

Ok, now that I have gotten my rant out of the way, let me update you all on the recent happenings of MK’s 中国 (China).

Firstly, I have resumed Chinese lessons. It’s only been two weeks and I have already learned more than I did in the last seven months. I am learning everything: speaking, listening, pronunciation, and finally characters. As of now, I can only read and write around 30 characters, but it’s amazing the recognition I have already gained. I now look at signs searching out the characters I already know. When I see them, the excitement that occurs could easily be likened to a child endlessly entertained by a brand new toy, until he received another one.

Secondly, Sports Weekend is coming up (essentially this equates to no classes Thursday and Friday next week) and Tine and I have decided to abandon the Foreign Teacher’s Office organized trip to Luoyang for an exquisite trip to Shanghai. We have opted to fly, a more pricey but time efficient method, as the train ride to Shanghai hovers around 16 hours! I am very much looking forward to a nice vacation away from Xi’an.

Thirdly, let me update you on my going ons since I last left you. It was the last week of March. In addition to classes, I did some shopping with Isabella, tried to find Wen yi Lu (Fabric Market) with Ruth & Sara, “The Wednesday Gang” (we finally found it after walking an hour and a half, mostly in circles I might add), my final lunch with Linda & Tine, and finally my Friday play date with Linda & Tine.

The first full week of April I began my Chinese lessons, spent some time with Tine & Isabella as well as Sam, one of my students, dined with my student Wendy & my Jiejie Hui Li, met up with Ariel who was visiting from the States, had two nights out downtown at ParkQin, my weekly Thursday lunch with Tine exploring the new campus’s canteen cuisine, and finally went to the Botanical Gardens with Zhang Jian.

Ok, now to this past week: More Chinese lessons, lunch with Bei Bei, Yang Di, & Hui Hui where I assisted them with questions they had regarding the TEM-4 (an exam all second year students are required to pass), lunch with Dean Wu, his wife Rose, and John & Gareth (John, Gareth, and I will most likely constitute the Tourism foreign faculty next year), lunch with Tine and one of my students named Volcano, and finally the week will end with some shopping with Tine and a meeting regarding a new private tutoring job.

As you can surmise, I have been quite busy. I wish I hadn’t been so remiss in keeping up with this blog. It would certainly prove more interesting than my condensed lists of life’s various events. I’ll add some photos below to add some much needed vibrancy to this post.

Da Yanta Water & Light Show. 
An exquisite Chinglish sign at Da Yanta
Me, Alanna, and Isabella at 1+1 Club on April 9. 
Isabella and I at 1+1. 
Lavender flowers at the Botanical Gardens. You can probably guess the photographer is Zhang Jian. I must say he is far more skillful than I at taking photographs. 
Mmmm, the cherry blossoms smell delicious!
This willow tree reminded me of the two willows located in my backyard, even though our neighbor was intent on bringing about their demise!  
I’m in Holland! Actually, wait, I am still in Xi’an. In case you were unsure, take a look at the crane loitering in the background of the right hand-side of this photo. 
Tulips. The yellow Oxford variety or was it Longman? Hmmm…
This deserves an explanation. No, I have not become a tree-hugger.  Ugh, that would be quite treacherous…but, in fact I recalled what one of my students from English Class 2 said in regards to one of my health and wellness questions: What do you do to relieve stress? Her answer, not verbatim: I go out to a secluded area of a forest and hug a tree. You can imagine how I had to control myself from bursting out in tears of joyous laughter. 
Ariel’s visit to Xi’an. Grabbing a drink at Park Qin with some members of the now defunct Backpax, Mark’s hostel.
Typical Zhang Jian, too shy to be photographed. We had dinner at this fancy Chinese style Western food cafe at Da Yanta
My fancy dessert at the Rainbow Cafe at Da Yanta
Fruit salad, Chinese style. 
Ming de Men bakery, it’s actual name is Ali Baba’s bakery. This place has the best baked goods in Xi’an. Bagels, donuts, whole wheat sandwich bread, all at fair prices. Only problem is this place’s proximity to my gym!
Daddy, this one is for you. It’s a Chinese flooring store. Ruth, Sara, and I happened to walk past this on our excruciatingly long journey to Wen yi Lu.
Next installment: classes, Shanghai, and (I hope) China question and answer. 

2 thoughts on “A much-needed update

  1. Elouise says:

    re: FABRIC MARKET

    I heard that in China and that part of the world in general (taiwan, hong kong, and southern asia) textiles, fabric and affordable tailors are NOT A LUXURY!!! but anyway, i want to hear more about this fabric market.

  2. Marissa K says:

    Yes, you have heard correctly. It is sometimes, for better quality, craftsmanship, and fit more worthwhile to purchase fabric then find a tailor. This is especially true for those whom aren't Asian skinny. Prior to winter, I had a coat, silk pillowcases, and a linen button down made at the tailors for a mere $75, including the fabric and tailoring. I brought the tailor a picture of a coat I found online and he essentially copied it, to a tee I might add.
    I am going to the fabric market this Wednesday as when we finally found it on our last adventure there wasn't a lot of time and we were incredibly exhausted. I'll let you know how it goes!

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