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4 posts categorized "Chinese Language + Society"

04/09/2013

Tomb Sweeping Festival Weekend

这个周末好极了。

这个周末我不在北京。我从周四到周天呆在青岛。我,李梅,和 杨晶 一起去了。周四下午一点三刻上车。我们觉得火车一个小时来青岛,但我们五个小时来了。我们很累了。但是我们不知道我们的招待所在哪儿。我们给酒店电话。我们一个小时聊天儿。他们一直问我是否我们得给医院电话。我们挺困惑的。一个小时以后他们告诉我们,他们是派出所。天哪!不好意思!

然后我们在青岛迷路了。我们上了出租车。它把我们送在河北路 。 他告诉我们五十块,太贵了!然后我们还迷路了。我们看一个夜市所以我们去了。我们见两个女大学生。他们也不知道谁哪儿。我们一起找我们的招待所。大家找到了!我们一起都去一个夜市,然后去睡觉了。

星期五早上十一点我们去饭馆吃。我们一起走很多。我们去教堂外边,看一个公园,爬山,看很多商店,和去寺庙。走很多,看很多地方也有很多乐趣。认识他很高兴! 周五晚上他们回家在河南。我们太伤心了。

星期六我们自己探索。 我们去了海边,去了一个岛,以后我们尝试去动物园。但是动物园关门了。所以我们去夜市。

周天,我们去了海边。下午我们去"美国加州牛肉面大王"吃饭。然后去了火车站。我们四月七日晚上十点半来北京了。我觉得青岛非常好!很大和漂亮!我想回来。

 This Weekend was Great!

This Weekend I wasn't at Beijing. From Thursday to Sunday I stayed at QingDao. Mai Lee, Crystal Yang and I went together. We got on the train on Thursday at 1:45pm. We thought we would arrive at QingDao in an hour, but we arrived in 5 hours. We were tired, but we still didn't know where our Hostel was. We gave them a call. We ended up talking to them for an hour (this happened while on the train.) The entire time they kept asking us if we wanted the phone number to the hospital. (we kept telling them, Hostel not Hospital... HOS-TEL... We asked them if they were Wheat Hostel, at Qingdao at Hebei street, and they kept saying OK. So We kept telling them we had an appointment, and we found them online, and booked a room for tonight, but we were going to be several hours late, we gave them our reservation number and told them we would go sleep there tonight...) they kept asking us if we wanted the phone number to the hospital. We were really confused. After an hour, they told us, "We are the Police Station". OMG! HOW EMBARRASSING! (they were probably writing down the address and saying OK iIgot the address down, not yes we are that address.)

Then we were jsut Lost in Qingdao. We just hopped a Taxi (and told them to take us to the address we had). He took us to HeBei street. He told it it was 50 Kuai, Freak'n Expensive. We were still lost. We saw a night market and decided to go (maybe the Hostel was in there somewhere). (We couldn't find it...) We saw 2 chinese college students. They (were also traveling, and )also didn't a place to stay. So all of us when searching for the Hostel. We Found it!! (We checked in, threw our stuff in our room and started enjoying ourselves.) We went to a night markets, Then we went to sleep. (wrong duo, among other errors XD).

Friday, we walked a lot. We went to a Church, a Garden, climbed a Mountain, went into a lot of Stores and  visited a temple. Saw a lot of things and had a lot of fun. Meeting them was Great! Friday night they returned home to Henan and we were sad.

Saturday We had to travel by ourselves. We went to the beach (now I've been on both sides of the Pacific Ocean! whoop whoop.) We Went on an island, and tried going to the Zoo. But the Zoo was closed... (Looked closed closed to me... the parking lot was overgrown, and there wasn't any animals. The only Creature we saw was a bird.) So we decided to go back to the night Market!

Sunday, we returned to the beach. (we built a sandcastle and used "sticky" to held us build ChumBucket. [spongebob] ) We ate at California Beef Noodle King. Then went to the train station and got back to Beijing on 4/7 10:30pm. Qingdao was Awesome! Very big and Pretty! I'll want to go back. 

03/19/2013

First month in China

We've been studying abroad for about a month now and have been blogging on our own site (http://baozisandjiaozis.wordpress.com/). Here are some of the highlights so far!

mahjongtea

For Hannah’s culture and language practicum, they visited a traditional tea house and played mahjong.

798

In CIEE, we are assigned to work in a group of 3 for a culture and language practicum course. The course focuses on getting students off campus so we can use our language skills outside of the classroom.

For Brianne’s group, they traveled to the 798 Art Zone (798艺术区) in Beijing. This thriving art district exists on a former factory site that was vacated in the 1950′s. The district got its name from the location — the original area of the 798 plant — where the early art organizations and artists moved in initially. Today, the area holds important international art exhibitions and art activities.

autism

Our CIEE program director, Patrick Lucas, took us to an autism institute in Tongzhou County, which is to the southeast of Beijing. This facility is truly one-of-a-kind, in that it serves children with various disabilities; in China, any disability is seen as a social stigma. At the school, we interacted with the younger children (ages 8 to 15) and also met the principal.

papercutting

After face painting, we tried traditional paper cutting. Ours did not turn out nearly as good as our teacher’s did.

On Friday, we tried our hands at traditional Peking Opera face painting! It was surprisingly easier than we expected – getting the paint off, not so much.facepainting

After everyone finished, we took a few groups shots. Here are some of our favorites!

facepainting1

IMG_5382

CIEE hosted themed dinners for us, so we went to one titled “Journey to the West,” where we ate traditional Muslim food. Shown above is one of the organs we ate before knowing exactly what it was – this one is a chicken’s heart! We also ate some kidney, and we agreed that the kidney tasted better than the heart.

drumbelltower

After climbing what seemed like a thousand stairs, we finally reached the top of the bell tower and caught a traditional drum performance.

houhai

At Houhai, we got a tour of a neighborhood by rickshaws and talked with a local family. There were many great food stands – Brianne tried the local cotton candy.

acrobat

On Thursday, we went to see a Chinese acrobatic show. At one point, there were eight motorcyclists in a metal sphere. We were amazed at all we saw!

lantern festival

We were so excited to see the lantern/spring festival, until we got there and realized it got canceled because of the air pollution. Nevertheless, it was still fun walking around Qianmen.

collagereal

Here we are at the Summer Palace, which served as a summer get-away for Empress Dowager.

Tiananmen Sqaure

On our first day in China, we took a group trip to Tiananmen Square. We also saw late Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum.

 

03/12/2013

Adaptation


    One thing I had to learn pretty quickly in China is Adaptation. Things are different here than they’re back home, obviously, and we must acknowledge that.

    For example, the weather/ air in China. Back in the States I never gave the air a second thought; I could walk to my class or run to the store or just sit by the pond and take in the sights. However, in my short time in China I have become hyper aware of the air around me and I’ve found myself asking questions I never did before. “Is the air really polluted today? Should I wear a Mask today? Is that a cloud, a fog, or pollution?”

    Another thing I never experienced before China is really high speed winds. Giant gusts of wind would come through the city. If you weren’t careful, they could easily knock you off your feet. These winds are really dangerous in a big city like Beijing. There are a lot of things that can be torn off building, or things that can fly off cars, or even laundry lines.

     This weekend is a prime example for  all of these cases. Friday the air pollution levels were in the 450’s! To illustrate the severity of the situation, some factories in America are forced to shut down by law if pollution levels reach 100 to 150. We’ve tripled or quadrupled that safety standard. It wasn’t safe for our health to be outside, and friends had to cancel plans to visit the Forbidden City.

    Saturday, started off well, but as we entered late morning conditions worsened. The winds really picked up and we had gale force winds wreak havoc on the metropolitan. As I stared out my window I could see a women be pushed unto the fence from a gust, it was like she had the ball and the wind was a linebacker. I saw tarps flapping feverishly trying to get airborne like the birds who were nowhere to be found. I saw the phone booths and street signs/lights rattle like they were attached to a snake.

    Needless to say, I had to cancel my plans to visit the Forbidden City that day as well. I ended up doing my Sunday ritual instead. I ended up finishing all of my homework. When I looked outside I noticed a giant brown cloud looming over the city ahead of me. My friend tells me it’s horrible. I turn to him and ask why? What’s in that cloud? Sandstorm; I haven’t personally experienced a Sandstorm yet, but I have seen it’s after math.

    While in a new environment, we need to learn to adapt to this weather. Plans will have to change, and you never know until the sun rises. I ended up going to the Forbidden City on Sunday. It was a lovely after noon, and even better since I didn’t have to worry about homework.

03/06/2013

Introduction

Hello World, This is my first time in China, my first time taking classes all in Chinese and my first time writing a Blog. So many first, I wonder if I’ve done anything before XD. Since this is the first post I guess I should introduce myself. I hate long introductions. They seem too drawn out. Eventually they have to be done, so here I go. Hey! I’m me and I do things I enjoy. Phew, that was exhausting. Next topic, just kidding XD. I’m Esteban Serrano. 我的中文名字是李特伴。I’m from Central University of Iowa (CUI). 我的学校是中心大学。I am majoring in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry, and a minor in East Asian Studies (maybe major, not quite sure how my school is handling my credits.) 我的专业是生物学,(and I don’t know how to say the rest XD). I’m currently attending民族大学 在 北京,中国 (Minzu University in Beijing, China), and am following the language intensive course. All that means is that I take 20 hours of language a week along with an elective for another 4 hours, here at Minzu University (aka, 民大, Minda). I also have a personal tutor for 2 to 4 hours a week, and just enjoy life. Not quite sure what to say next. Oh, I took 3 years of Traditional Chinese in High School. The teacher spoke English in class, so probably not the best learning environment. Plus we learned Traditional Characters, which isn’t widely used today. Looking back it was interesting to learn, but not really productive. Now I’m a junior in college (did I mention that?) So haven’t really studied Chinese in a while. It should be easier to relearn than it was to learn for the first time. Hmm, well I can’t think of anything else to say. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the blog, I know someone will, If no one else, than there’s still my mother XD.