It’s been a little over three weeks and I finally feel like I am “used” to being in China. But at the same time I have moments where I’m like “Oh my God, I’m in China.” But it’s usually a pleasant moment. I really am beginning to like it here. Not that I didn’t like it before, it’s just now I know my way around more, my Chinese has improved and I’m growing more accustomed to the way things are done here.  I still have a long way to go in all those categories though.

Monday we had medical examination at a building in Zhengzhou. It only took a few hours and the entire examination was done in one building. We had a chest X-ray, and EKG, blood sample and urine sample and it was all done in one building and relatively quickly. I thought that more convenient then the way we do it in the States where you have to go to a bunch of different places to get those things done and you pay a lot more. It was 320 RMB which is really cheap in US dollars (about 53 dollars.)

I went to a Chinese zoo with Ting Ting. It was actually a little sad. The animal’s hair was all scruffy and shaggy and they were in tiny little cages and everyone was feeding them random food. They even had dogs. I did a double take but in a cage right next to the wolves there was a German Shepard.  It was pretty random.

I’ve found my favorite dish in China so far. It’s called 热干面re gan mian. It has sprouts and vegetables and noodles and peanut sauce. It’s extremely tasty and it costs only 3.5 RMB which is about 50 cents. I’m still amazed at how cheap things are here, particularly food.  I haven’t been spending too much money lately.

Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of Henan University. There’s going to be a big party and we get to meet one of the Vice Presidents of some sort of international function of Akron University and our teacher from the States is coming too. I’m excited for it and it will be interesting to see what they’ll do for the hundredth anniversary.

I got Ting Ting onto Facebook and it was really funny to see her adjust to it. She didn’t understand it at first but after a while she caught on to it. At first she didn’t want to add any friends but after a couple of days she started adding friends.  They don’t really have Facebook in China because the government blocks it but there are ways of getting around it by using a VPN established with a network from the States. I have a VPN established with the University of Akron.

Classes started last Tuesday. There are two classes one is a beginner class where they start with the basics and one is more advanced. I got put into the more advanced class and the other students from Ohio got put into the beginner class. They are definitely at the top of their class. I’m definitely not the best in my class but I understand everything pretty easily. Most of the vocab is stuff I’ve already learned and so most of my classes are really easy. But our reading class is from the next year of study and it is really difficult. I have to look up almost every other word and I have a lot of difficulty understanding what I’m reading. But it is good for me to learn.

One of these weekends we’re going to try to make a trip into Zhengzhou. They have a Starbucks there which is especially excellent. One thing I’ve missed is coffee. I know I can get instant coffee from the supermarket but it’s just not the same. I have yet to try the coffee shops around town but if they’re anything like the ones I tried on my last trips to China they will be God awful.

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