Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The street art was also spectacular. Large sprawling and intricate designs, spotted with cute plaster monsters.
After a thorough immersion in Chinese modern art, we filled ourselves to the brink of explosion with fine Chinese dining. Look at this dessert!
It tasted like slightly sweetened baby food on a pringle, but the presentation made up for what it lacked in taste.
798 is lined with small high-end stores selling everything from welded figurines to gourmet vegan pizza. We stopped by many, including an instrument store. To advertise their product, two girls were playing the instrument along to popular Chinese music.
It was quite enchanting. I came away with a small one of my own, but I can barely squeal out a scale.
2) Yesterday was an incredibly windy day. Tall strong trees were bending at 45-degree angles and I was nearly picked up off the ground when I was walking to class.
3) I am surprised by how much the weather can affect my mood. Today the sky was a clear blue with powdered sugar clouds, and I was in an excellent mood.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Then we strolled down to Nanluoguxiang, a shopping street with everything from “ancient” Chinese paintings and leather-bound books to Oba-mao t-shirts. At some point different groups separated out and I ended up walking around with a group of mostly Koreans (including one North Korean), one Mongolian, one Brazilian, one Italian, one Kazakhstani, and one American.
The bus ride back to school was a nice reminder of the amazing and long bus rides of elementary school. We played 20 questions and hand games. One of the Korean boys has a really amazing speaker, it has a special foam pad on the bottom and it turns whatever surface it is placed on into a speaker using vibrations. Our entire bus was a giant speaker.
Monday, March 12, 2012
(there may or may not be a video collection coming up of some of the strange exercises Chinese students are required to do)
This could be a fun game. Guess what each item on the table is!
Abby during art class:
Today was my host sister's older sister's birthday. For dessert I was served a brick of cake that resembled a giant dark chocolate truffle. It was incredibly thick, like nearly dried mud. My host father kept complaining about how bitter it was, while my host sisters’ and mother kept contradicting him. They were very pleased when I agreed with them that it was not too bitter.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Everyday, spoonfuls of a sagging green vegetable, everyday white sticky rice. Mostly Korean food with the occasional American side dish throw in, examples include French fries, or like today, succulent cole slaw. The cole slaw was seriously delicious, thinly sliced cabbage and tomato rounds coated in streaky, sweet mayonnaise. The food is served buffet style. All the international students line up to receive our cold metal trays, we then progress to the spread of food, then to a “salad bar” with kimchi, individually-packaged seedful clementines, kumquats, cucumber wedges, and sautéed peanuts. Personal favorite dishes include pears, cabbage in a thin brown sauce, and diamond bread with spicy spices.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Admittedly it was not a heavenly masterpiece from Mountain West, or even a quickly crafted delight from Beto’s, but it was a burrito none the less.
On Saturday my host sister and I saw “War Horse.” We viewed it in a cinema that nearly puts the mammoth screen at Thanksgiving Point to shame. The auditorium was the size of a small stadium, with plush headrests, and assigned seats.
For dinner the whole host family and I went to hot pot. It was quite different than the Four Seasons Hot Pot: everyone had their own special pot placed in a deep impression in the table with a burner beneath, the contents were not buffet style but ordered before hand, and every person was provided a bowl filled with brown sesame sauce that served as the cooling spot for cooked bits of tofu skin, or thin strips of fish, or wilted stalks of vegetables.
Today we traversed through Beijing to the Silk Market. Among my few purchases I acquired these!:
They make me feel like I am walking in summer.
Friday, March 2, 2012
This was her side:
No worries, since then I have managed to fit all of my belongings into the small dressers provided.
On Saturday I went “cartoon model shopping” with my host sister.
Have you guys heard of the TV show One Piece? She is thoroughly obsessed. The name of their internet is One Piece. Yeah. We met up with two of her friends, Echo and Wang at the store. Wang loves basketball, the NBA, and WOW.
Echo was very friendly, switching from Chinese to English and back to Chinese while talking to me. She lived in Boston and Virginia for a while.
Look at this GIANT FRUIT NINJA!!!!!!!
While we were leaving the store we saw people ice skating so we jumped on the ice with them. Unfortunately we did not find anyone renting skates so we settled for using shoes.
For lunch we ate Cantonese fish. At the beginning of our meal we were eating boiled leafy greens when a waiter brought over a bag. Inside was a live fish feebly flopping. We inspected our freshly bagged lunch. Fifteen minutes later the fish was transferred from plastic grocery bag to a simmering box pot heated from beneath. Camouflaged beneath a syrup of spices including garlic, scallions, red peppers, sesame seeds, onions, and salt, cooked our white-fleshed fish.