Thursday, April 9, 2015

Competition Day (Part 2)

(A continuation of this post)(and edited for spelling errors. Sorry about that!)

    “Go in,” Chuanchao said “Get good seats!”
    "Good luck!" Simon and I chorused. He gave a grin and a thumbs up.
    The gymnasium was obviously new. The windows were shiny, the floors unscuffed, and it still had the peculiar smell which accompanies all construction sites. I wondered vaguely if this competition was the main reason for the creation of this gym. 

    We still had time, and there were plenty of seats still open, so Simon and I wandered through the different halls. For the students of this school, life was going on routinely. 

Badminton is one of the more popular sports in China

Monday, April 6, 2015

Eat All the Food: Street Markets

    Before I came to China, I was never a picky eater. I had some experience eating what most Westerners would consider weird (snakes and ants, anyone?). So, it was not a hard intention to make that while I studied in China, I would try as many new foods as possible. It is especially easy to make an intention such as this when I am at home with a bowl of cornflakes in front of me.
It was not always smooth sailing. There were a couple of times I was confronted with a food that my brain screamed "don't put that in your mouth!" But then I did. People eat all kinds of things and they survive. Therefore, I can too.

Welcome to
Eat All the Food
Street Market version  

    We visited quite a few street markets in China and Tibet. Some where more touristy than others, but all had much hustling and bustling. The crush of people was overwhelming at first, but then, after a few panicked minutes, I gathered myself and hustled and bustled with the best of them.
   Now, before you think "Ach, another success story. I thought the title of this blog meant that she fails sometimes too!"
    There is at least one fail coming up in this post (and more in later posts).

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Competition Day (Part 1)

(Edited for spelling errors. Sorry folks!)

    I mentioned in a previous post that I was learning kungfu. I was also fortunate to go see my friend's kungfu/taichi practice. My friend, who also happened to be the assistant teacher for my kungfu class, and his classmate had been training the preceding months for an upcoming competition. In the States, I worked for a Taekwondo dojang and I've been to my share of Taekwondo competitions. I was, naturally, curious to see whether a kungfu/taichi competition was similar. When I mentioned my interest to Chuanchao, he expressed pleasure, ducking his head in embarrassment.
    "My friend would like to go too. I will introduce you and you both can arrive together." He said. "You cannot come with me, because I have to be there very early."


    As the day drew nearer, I got lost in my studies, and Chuanchao in his. Chinese was running me over like a dump truck, and I was not doing as well as I'd hoped. It was the day before the competition, and I was walking home from a particularly horrific class--it was one of those classes during which I was apparently asking really dumb questions. My chin was tucked into the scarf around my neck, and I watched the ground as I strode. I was so lost in self-pity that I didn't notice that Chuanchao walking towards me. He had to step right in front of me, blocking my path, before I realized that he was there.
    As usual, he was wearing loose pants and a sweatshirt. In his hands, he carried several of the swords used in Chinese fencing. Obviously, he'd just come from practice.
    After exchanging greetings, he gave me his friend's number, saying that we should figure out when and where to meet.
    "The competition will be at the medical school." Chuanchao added.
    I nodded, thinking of the medical school near our own campus. "Okay, that's not too far." I murmured.
    "It will be good, I think." he said. "I must go now, but I will see you tomorrow."
I smiled as I waved goodbye. Then, I turned and padded back home.