Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 二 Recap

Week two was insanely busy. On the academic side, I’m starting to feel that I’m maxing out my hanzi-memorization capability every night. No worries—it’s not that I’m discouraged, but I’m pretty convinced that for every two new characters I learn, one previously memorized character simultaneously escapes from my brain. Then again, I never imagined last year that I could ever come close to memorizing 50 characters a day. I suppose that the tolerance for hanzi, like most others, only increases with time and (ab)use.

On Thursday, all the second-year students and teachers went to Tianyi (天意) Market, where I had the chance to practice my haggling skills, or lack thereof (in English, embarrassing; in Mandarin, unspeakable). I ended up buying a stuffed animal because I pitied it for being so ugly and it looked kind of unhappy. Without this knowledge, several classmates later agreed that its face closely resembled mine (fml).

Tianyi Market entrance

because life would not be complete had I not seen pig moobs

On Friday, the whole program went to the Great Wall (relevant post and pictures soon to follow). Saturday, I had dinner with some Andover friends doing various other things in Beijing this summer: Sayoko, Tantum, Ben, Kie, and Heroy. Being able to catch up with old friends over good food was really great. (Food-wise, the highlight for me was this crazy-looking corn-bean-sugar pancake that tasted a lot better than it sounds.) After dinner, we all headed to Houhai for a bit before deciding it was too hot to weave through the massive crowds.

Then Sunday was moving day. And by “day” I mean that the entire “uh-oh, what time is it?!”-shower-shove everything in my bag-“why am I doing this again?”-checkout-“why hello, host mother” process lasted about 20 minutes. I’ll devote an entire post to my new living situation soon, but in the meantime:
the pad