Friday, October 31, 2014

Homeward Buddha

     Professor Hammerstrom’s apartment is located off campus, just outside of West Gate. In terms of distance, it’s about a mile from our dorm to his front door—it took us about two weeks to realize that most things, such as grocery and clothing stores, would all be about the same distance away.
We have Buddhism class at Professor’s home. It makes sense, given that the only students are those from Pacific Lutheran University and Lewis and Clark—and we have a grand total of six students. We got to decide where we would like to have our class, and our choice was basically this: we could use the classroom on the sixth floor—walking all six flights, as the elevator is broken—of the red brick building next to our dorm. Where we would sit in metal chairs that make our backsides sweat and that fill the cavernous room with rusty screams when someone so much as twitches. On the other hand, we could sit on comfy couches—complete with floral seat coverings—sipping tea and coffee, while we discuss the essence of Buddhism.
     It was a hard decision.
     So, every Monday, we take the trek to the apartment, loaded with laptops and Buddhist commentaries. Our conversations during class are abstract, to say the least, but it’s the conversations during break that really capture the core of our little group.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How Not to Haggle

Haggle: to talk or argue with someone especially in order to agree on a price  

     Like most Americans, I don't haggle on a regular basis. Culturally, it's not a norm, and that's fine--except when I'm studying away in a culture in which haggling is very much an everyday experience. If you can't tell, this is one of those stories in which I did not get it right.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

First Post!

     Intentions are beautiful things--when they are fulfilled. I had intended to write this post about a month ago, but I got caught up in the whirlwind of traveling through China. I had also intended this blog to be a bi-weekly affair. The problem with that is that this blog would become more of a diary, and no one wants to read that.
     So, what am I intending to put into this blog? As the title of this blog suggests, I'm a very fallible human being who makes mistakes, and I'm one of those people who find themselves in peculiar situations with alarming regularity. The results? Hilarious--and sometimes cringe-worthy--stories, which I intend to share with you. These stories won't be in chronological order--where's the fun in organization?--but rather I'll post whatever story has been percolating in my mind.
     This particular blog will revolve around my experiences in Chengdu, China, where I'm studying at SiChuan University. I attend classes, go visit tourist and religious destinations, and hang out with the amazing people of this school.
     The stories will arrive, that's one intention I will fulfill, but for now, enjoy some photos of China!