Saturday, July 12, 2008

Things Seen

The veggie market is gorgeous! It reminds me of West Africa's food markets except there are a lot more greens and other veggies.

Girls are very feminine here, not sure how I will adapt to that. Will I change into a femme who wears high heels and cute little dresses? My host family has already commented that I don't wear lipstick and I shouldn't eat too much. They don't want me to get fat.

The food is simple and delicious. The flavor is the vegetable itself. My host mother cooks about 5 veggie dishes each evening. It takes her two hours. We don't eat much meat, maybe a bite or too. The meals suit me just fine.

The family is very close. The first Sunday I was here, the father, the mother, the daughter and me all went to a clothing store and helped her pick out the best dress that everyone liked. She changed 4 times allowing us to see the two different dresses several times to help her make a decision. It took us about an hour to make the decision.

Men here walk around with their bellies showing. They hike up their shirts coz it is so hot.

I do not find Chengdu hot. Africa was A LOT hotter. I have no complaints about the weather. The other day we had a rain storm, lightening bolts from ground to infinite sky, tremendously powerful strikes seen from the glass wall of our language class.

When a little kid who hasn't been totally potty trained yet, has to go, his parents hold him out in the street and make sounds, "Shh, shhh, sway.. shhh..." I guess to help the child go. Children who are not potty trained yet wear clothes that have a slit in the crotch.

Gender roles are different here than in Africa. I see both men and women going shopping for veggies. In this household the mother cooks and the father and daughter clean up. There seems to be more equality. In West Africa most of the Peace Corps staff were men. In China, most of the Peace Corps staff are women.

My most difficult challenge so far is learning Chinese. It is hard.

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