Saturday, September 06, 2008

2nd Day in My New Hometown

After a two day car trip about 17 hours of driving through beautiful China on its new expressways that cost like $20 at various tollbooths throughout the three provinces Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu, I finally arrived at my new home.

Instead of a dead campus, it has come alive with students, vegetable and fruit ladies, plus thermos bottle and plastic goods merchants and all of the street food noodles and stuffed thick pita bread sellers. All of it is right outside the back gate of my campus which is about a 5 minute walk from my 2nd floor apartment.

My PC site mate fixed a lentil soup for dinner and then we went for a walk, the busyness of the campus street died pretty quickly as we marched past the gate welders and the carpenters. Walking in what we thought was a square block, we learned it was a triangle as we surprisingly ended back where we started. The street had become filled with bright costumes, girls in white tutus and big green feathered headbands or big sunflowers attached to their fronts. We followed the parade of girls into a stadium filled with dance troupes, a huge outdoor stage setup along with stage lights and a huge TV screen. My site mate attracted many of those cute girls who speak more English than we speak Chinese. They asked, "Will we play hide and go seek with them?" We learned that they were practicing for a big show that will be happening the day after tomorrow.

My new city is a crowded place with a small town feel. Community is right outside our gate and people are curious about us wanting to get to know who we are, wanting to help us with whatever we may need.

I am also excited because I have been seeing little boys running around in TaeKwonDo uniforms and at the stadium that is right across the street from our campus' back gate, I saw big posters advertising TaeKwonDo. I sure hope they have classes for women who are my age. The biggest challenge will be to communicate how much lessons cost and how many lessons there are per week.

I am only teaching 10 hours a week of American and English Literature. I have a lot of free time and will be able to participate in many fun activities. I am hoping to take up piano again. The music department is on our campus as well as the chemistry department. I have been invited to give a few lectures on chemistry.

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