Monday, March 08, 2004

Saturday night I went to a karaoke bar for the first time, but didn't end up singing. Me and a friend on the program went out with a group of korean students in our dorm. We thought we were going to a normal bar, but they actually took us to a korean karaoke bar. It was a pretty good time though...they kept trying to get us to sing and after a few drinks I finally requested a song, but it turned out to be a different song with the same title as the one I thought. We left pretty soon after that, so the two americans got away without singing. Interestingly, a lot of the time i was talking to the koreans, I was speaking chinese because i think their chinese was better than their english. At other bars later on, I met a lot of other foreign students and realized that they have much much more free time than our program. Since we have two extra classes outside of language class, we have a pretty full load. I just thought about it today, and I have over 17 hours of class each week, compared to their 10 hours. So i think they go out during the week and overall have much more fun than us. Not much I can do about that though.

Teaching the english class yesterday went pretty bad. I don't have a chinese TA at all anymore the kids don't pay attention at all. The first two weeks every once in awhile the teacher would yell and they would pay attention for a few minutes, but I have no control over them now. As an example of how little control I have (and how much they realize it), I stood over and watched two girls copy each other's homework for about 2 minutes, they knew i was standing there and didn't even think twice about it. I don't really know how to reprimand in chinese, and I don't really care to reprimand them anyway. Just hopefully none of them trips and breaks any bones during their sprints around the classroom hurdling over desks and chairs. One of the kids put something that looked like blood on his lips and pretended he was really hurt...had me going for a second. I justl go around making each kid individually try to answer questions and practice, at least this way they get something out of it. Aside from the mayhem though, the kids are pretty cool and they ask me a lot of questions in chinese (and they don't really pay attention when i try to teach them how to ask it in english). Some of them are huge suck-ups too and try to answer every question and do everything i say, but it's hard not to like that when the rest of the class doesn't pay attention at all.

After the class me and shaul went to a restaurant on the way home we had never been to before. We didn't understand the menu at all, and just asked for a meat dish, some tofu dish, and she asked if we wanted a fish dish so I asked her to give us whatever she thought is the best tasting fish dish. She pointed to something on the menu and I said ok, having no idea what it was. The other dishes came and they were pretty good, then lastly my fish dish comes and it's a steamed I ate some turtle on the half-shell for dinner the other day. Better tasting than I expected.

Forgot to add this earlier, on saturday the program set all of us up with a chinese family and we are supposed to visit their house 4 times. Saturday was the first time for me, and it was pretty cool. Hung out in their apartment and talked to them for awhile about life in america and life in china. They seem middle class, apartment was small but very nicely decorated, had a big screen TV and a laptop. They fed me dinner and overall it was a great experience. Looking forward to going back there again.

I also finally uploaded pictures today, not all of them because the upload was pretty slow and I only had about an hour before class, but I put up the pictures for cambodia and vietnam. I also got the thumbnails for China up, but i didn't get to upload the full size pictures. Enjoy.


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