Week update 9/24

Ok, it’s been a little while. Whew, lots to fill you all in on.
Aircraft carrier rave: actually, not a rave at all. Little disappointing. But still fun. We all dressed up in neon colors and took a party bus for 3+ hours to Tianjin; most people were already drunk by the time we got there. It was indeed a giant boat, and they had screens and a DJ booth set up on deck. I made friends with some British kids with face paint, big mistake. I ended up covered in orange paint, which was lots of fun until the alcohol wore off several hours later. But it was useful in remembering who I had made friends with because I gave everyone I met an orange handprint on their cheek haha. We posed for pictures with some of the staff, who were either dressed as navy sailors or were navy sailors, either way I think they had no idea what had hit their boat. When I inspected the pictures later though one of them is doing the thumbs up sign which is hilarious. Don’t worry, I didn’t paint them. We got back to Wudoukou (our favorite and nearby bar street) around 6am, grabbed breakfast, then came home and slept.
Success at internship: I had a great day Monday. I have been working on making designs for the website for a week now, and made a pretty good “blueprint” of an anti-ship missile, fantastic drop shadows for the text boxes, etc. I finished Monday and gave them to the IT guy to put on the website, which they now are. You can see my handiwork at chinasecurity.cs, it’s the lower half of the homepage. That was really exciting, I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something in this world now 😛 Wednesday’s difficult research projects, not so successful. But I’m clinging to my graphic.
Classes: finally got one class dropped, doing ok in others. Now that I’m not taking 24 credit hours I actually have one afternoon to do errands or shop or study. My first couple quizzes and tests I haven’t done so great on, but I’m ok with that because I was sick for them and I’m still passing. We got our first Chinese test back and I got a C, but it was soooo difficult that that’s actually better than I expected to do. As expected, the teacher told me my strengths were grammar, sentence structure, reading comprehension, etc. And my weaknesses, well, essentially everything else. Especially tone work, with I am already well aware of. I really can’t hear much of a difference. Maybe I’m going deaf after all the rock concerts. My other classes are pretty interesting, Sino-American Relations is my favorite. It’s so much to learn though, I feel failed by my school system. When we learned world history we mentioned some Asian events but I could name every king of England but don’t know more than a couple Chinese emperors, or anything but the biggest events of the revolution. Maybe we learned it and I just forgot everything. I just feel like I don’t know anything about this part of the world. In any case, I have so much new information to absorb and remember, it’s going to be tough. Worth it though.
Being sick: mostly better now. I’m still coughing and sniffling, but I think that may just be the climate (i.e. pollution). Or a sinus infection. We’ll see if it ever goes away. But I am feeling much better than last week, so there’s definite improvement.
Qingdao: booked tickets. We have a short break next week due to the National Day celebrations (the PRC is celebrating its 60th anniversary, it’s going to be a big deal) and so my friend Lesley and I booked plane tickets to go to Qingdao, a coastal city not too far away. She’s already been there and says it’s her favorite place, so it sounded like fun to me. It’s also home of Tsingtao (Qingdao in pinyin, it’s the same thing but they changed the writing system a few years ago) beer, our favorite beverage here. Hopefully I can tour the factory. I’m not sure if the beach will be warm enough to lounge on, but I’m bringing a suit and we’ll find out. A short note on the tickets: we stood in line for three hours twice to get train tickets, and everything is booked solid. We gave up and got more expensive plane tickets to get there, and are going to try our luck to get train tickets for the way back. Oh boy. It’s madness.
Other things. I found yogurt here that is delicious so that has been a godsend. It’s not nearly Greek level, but it’s about on par with Yoplait, it’s a little thinner and has bizarre flavors, like red bean or pineapple and barley. I also finally – after two days of trying with super slow internet – managed to download Three Days Grace’s new album, so that’s very exciting. I’m a fan, there’s good stuff on it. It’s good to have my own music, my taste is a little more intense than most people’s here 😉 …
Ok, I’ve written probably about two pages worth, so that’s all for the updates right now. I’ll try again soon.
Love you all, thank you so much to those who have been commenting and keeping up with my antics! It’s so great to hear from all of you.
Jenn

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4 Responses to “Week update 9/24”

  1. What an amazing trip! So much happening all the time, I wonder if we’ll even recognize you when you return! I love your stories Jen! I miss you tons!

  2. ok, a what any mom wants to hear when her daughter is abroad; drunken revelries with sailors and orange paint. Glad you made it okay and that you dropped one class, how many credits do you have now? By the by, you are probably not deaf, in America we do not tend to listen, we are a very loud and busy culture. You will find you question your hearing in many countries.

  3. Aunt Cecelia Says:

    So glad that you are feeling better! What a wonderful thing to find food that you like to eat. The yogurt will help to keep you healthy. You are probably right about American schools not teaching much regarding Asian history. We hardly had any information about Asian history in the public school system, lo those many years when in high school. However, on the college level, I was able to take some Asian history courses. It is great that you are able to take advantage of all the information the university is able to offer! Much love, Aunt Cecelia

  4. *.” I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information `:.

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