Thursday, August 12, 2010

Catchup Post

Why do I always take so long between posts? I'm always a week behind. I'm only doing this post cause internet stability is going to be nonexistant until I come home and/or I steal it from the hotels I'll be staying at.

Let's continue from the last post, last day of painting class. I was late for my classes in the morning cause I slept in late but I got to kouyou class on time and it was my day to do a baogao- a report on anything topic you chose. I did mine on the dialects of china and wouldnt you know it, the substitute teacher not only teaches chinese but is also a linguisitcs major! so after my brief intro of chinese linguistics to the class, the sub decided to ignore the lesson plan and instead continue my baogao and talk in depth about chinese linguistics and tones across dialects, in chinese of course. i was so happy hehe =D

the last painting class, we did grapes. not too interesting but some ppl's grapes were so big, they practically became plums or something lol. well we took a group pic of the painting class and the mounting guy came and gave us all our final mounted pieces. standing ovation for sean's waterfall piece. it was pretty epic. really nice, musuem quality.

on friday, i discovered my first big bug bite since coming to china. this is actually a pretty good score so far, bug:1, maggie:0. im surprised it took so long for me to get one of those epic-ly big bug bites 5 weeks into coming to beijing. =p i got bit on my upper arm so when it swells, it looks like ive been working out lol.

i missed classes completely on friday and got a good 14 hours nights rest. felt so good and refreshing. then matt, cody, gandhi, sean and me went to a tailoring place in sanlitunr to get custom made shirts. matt and cody ordered full suits for only 1000RMB, so thats about $150 for blazer, dress shirt and trousers, tailored to your body. not bad, not bad at all. shirts were 200RMB each. gandhi some shirts and pants while sean got 2 shirts. when we went to get them on monday, everyone's turned out really nicely, even sean's dark purple shirt. guess who picked that color lol. we saw other CLERC ppl come by and pick up their orders. this is because we all got recomendations from david, the mob boss of our group, he gets alot of his wardrobe done here. no wonder he looks so good. afterward, we walked around the dept stores section of sanlitun and didnt find anything. everything was american pricing so we didnt buy stuff. we did see the alanna dress from a 3 story Uniqlo, the grey one with shoulders open. sean wanted me to get it lol but it wasnt on sale like alanna's. but wen i tried it on, everyone said i looked just like her lol.

we took the subway back, it takes an hour to get back and we just ate the food stalls still open on campus, the ones we pass by when we go to class in the morning. afterward, the guys and me, minus stuart all watched stepbrothers on cody's laptop in gandhi's room. there was so many guy jokes and toilet humor that i almost couldn't stand it, but being around so many guys, i kinda get used to it and i could say i even sorta enjoyed the movie. by the time we finished, it was close to 1am and we went to bed.

saturday was the last CLERC fieldtrip day. we went inside both bird's nest and the watercube. man, the bird's nest is pretty impressive up close and its hard to imagine all the seats being filled when its so emptied out now. everything is so red and intense. the field is so big and just the capacity of the stadium is impressive. so is the selection at the souvenir store lol. next we went inside the water cube, this building was alot smaller and half of it was access denied since they made it into an indoor water park. the water park looks soo much fun! i havent been to one since elementary school probably. the rest of the water cube was very boxy but airy. there was also lots of bubble motifs everywhere. the award pool wasnt as big as i thought but you know, some things looks bigger on tv i guess. by the time we finshed touring both places, we were starving, we went to a restuarant to eat and the food was finished off pretty quickly. the restuarant also had a stage where after we finished eating, there was some minority group dances but they werent that good. i was too busy playing with a rubiks cube that bryan brought. he is a wiz at it, can solve it in literally a minute.

after lunch, we got driven to the hutongs near houhai. i felt familiar with these lol since i got lost in one for an hour. first we went up to the drum tower and saw a drum performance. back in ancient china before clocks, drums and bells were used to announce the time. the drum tower is in the same line as the olympic stadiums, forbidden palace and tiananmen square. they say that if you live near this line, you'll live longer and happier lives. good fengshui. the drum performance was pretty cool, front row standing seats lol. the climb up that tower was really steep tho, i felt like doing a stepmaster but on steroids. the steps were really really steep!! and as gandhi will never let us forget, it takes 69 steps to climb up to the top. coming back to solid ground, we went on a ride thru the hutongs driven by a guy on a bike, two ppl to a seat in the back. we stopped at a guy's house, his family's been living there for 5 generations. hutongs are the old school communities in beijing, narrow alleyways connect houses and its where everyday normal ppl live. the houses and the area looks shabby but actually are the most expensive places to live in, mostly because ppl want the experience of a real neighborhood instead of high rises. anyway, we went into this guys house, very modest place and chatted with him. he's had olympic guests come visit him and all sorts of famous ppl. we were more interested in his birds. they could speak chinese if you talked to them! they could say hello and have you eaten in mandarin. that was pretty cool.

on sunday, we basically studied and took a chill day. i did my survey and had to go out and ask ppl around campus questions in order to do a questionaire type thing for class. it was so embarrasing and nervewracking and very very frustrating. i had to ask in chinese, afterall, they couldnt understand english and most ppl i asked werent university students or they just didnt want to spend time answering my questions. matt came with me and mostly we just stood around picking targets out of the ppl passing by. finally i went up to a group of ppl and they answered my question. it wwas a very simple question: after you graduate, what are the best jobs? after coombining answers with my partner, priscilla, we concluded that the best jobs were governement officals, public affairs type. ah china.

sunday was also ken's bday and we had a very low key dinner with the ppl he liked the most lol. we went to zhongguancun's bellagio again and had dinner. we noticed that all the waitresses who worked there had the exact same boyish short haircut. it was kinda scary how they all looked alike and there was alot of them...we went shopping afterward and discovered the underground shopping mall that linked to a subway stop. everyone bought something, even sean who found an anime store and got more one piece posters lol. i got a dress at h&m. prices there were comparable to the ones in the us.

monday wasnt much. tuesday the koreans in my kouyu class taught me the kroean expressions "teba" and "hrrrr" and "didodi". yes, they actually say those things. bascially, in terms of smilies, "teba" means =D and "hrrr" and "didodi" means -_-. following this principle, they were impressed i could use them in the correct situations. they said that if you knew how to use them, any young korean person you meet will be impressed. teba! lol

at night, sean's uncle took us the mounted guy's store past 17 mile KTV. i got some maobis and maobi stand for my mom, 4 high quality brushes cost me 150RMB. not bad, i think. his store was really small but well stocked with soo many brushes and everything you need for calligraphy and painting. makes sense, right, he did all our mountings, carvings and fan supplies for both our painting and calligraphy classes.

on wed we had our hanyu final. i tried to cram words but in the end, i passed. thursday we had our kouyu final and i also tried to cram words, but in the end, i did better than hanyu, still passing. passing is all i need. i didnt really study and i didnt want to stress so i think i did ok considering. since today, thursday was the last class before we leave, we had to say goodbye to our korean friends. aww..... i never imagined that we would know koreans from this program, i only thought id be making friends who came from the states, but this was a very nice surprise. global friends is always nice =D

wednesday lunch was pretty interesting. we got lunch at the last eating place inside the jiaozi building. a grad student starting eating with us after ken sat down, then we all gathered around ken. i guess this guy didnt know hed soon be surrounded by waiguoren (foreigners) lol. we started up a conversation and surprisingly his english was very good. we asked his about youtube and facebook and he said everyone knows about it but we can only imagine how they look like. it takes a very skilled hacker to access those and he's learning to become one! lol also hes a earth science student and he was asking us about schools in the US, well, since we were bascially repping rutgers and berkeley, we said the west coast and east coast of the US were very different, but he didnt care about the weather, as long as he could have the chance to do research in the US. such different mindset than us americans. he got all of our contact info. that's called taking advantage of the situation. lol also he told us that CHOMSKY was in the area and is going to be giving a lecture here on friday. im flying out friday morning. didodi. i cant believe im missing out on chomsky! when hes in the same city as me! only the most famous linguist (still alive)!

thursday after class, sean's mom's cousin took us out for last minute shopping. we went to a really expensive mall and sean took forever but eventually got 2 dress pants. literally over 2000RMB. >.< i thought that it the place was too expensive so after, she took us to the zhongguancun outlet store!!1 LOVED this place, a whole floor of discounted shoes!! omg!! i couldnt decide what to get! and when i did, they never had my size t.t well, i finally found a pair of low heels that was only US$30 (compared to the dept one we just went to, everything was over 1500RMB, so US$200+) we came back, late to the CLERC graduation dinner. well everyone else was late too. we got our certificate and there were skits and musical performances, taichi performance. the best one hands down was the all guys oone with synchronized sexy dancing to laoshuaidami. it was outrageous, and so entertaining. i got to wear my new shoes hehe. now its night time and im waiting for my mom to call my dorm. im stuck inside while everyone else is getting their last party on in bejing. *sigh* tomoro, the 16 or so ppl going on the traveling portion of the trip will leave, check out 8:30a. we'll be going to a different place everyday but mostly around the yunnan province, also shangri-la and then 2 finals days in china in shanghai before we head home and ill have to face reality and enter the workforce *shudder* goodnight!

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