Wednesday, July 1, 2009


On Sunday, I brought my bags down to the lobby to meet Li laoshi, who introduced me to Mrs. Gao, my host mother. She and her husband, whom I am instructed to call Gao mama and Tan bobo, live in an apartment about a 20-minute walk from campus.

- no dorm = no English
- single room (picture at the end of a recent post)
- missing out on general tomfoolery
- interesting experiences/conversations
- amazing food

The food here is actually delicious. Food epiphany #1 in China was realizing how different real Chinese food is from Americanized Chinese food. #2: Home-cooked meals are much better than restaurant food—generally, the dishes are simpler, but seem to contain far less salt, grease, and MSG, and Gao mama is a great cook. She and I have agreed that I’ll be out for lunch with friends but will have dinner with her and Tan bobo four weekdays a week.

- no dorm = no English
- single room = no Jared
- missing out on general tomfoolery
- distance from campus
- lighting a fire every morning to heat water for the shower
- more mosquitoes
- curfew (maybe?)
- no internet

Happy to report that I am winning the Great Chinese Mosquito War (GCMW) of Summer 2009, me: 5, mosquitoes: 3 (translation: 5 suckers slayed last night, 3 bites on my left forearm this morning). I’ll try to remember to continue tracking my progress. Unfortunately, the man vs. internet battle isn’t going so well. I apologize in advance for delinquent facebooking/emailing. As for blogging, these last two posts were written in the evening in the apartment and uploaded the next morning in the classroom.