Friday, October 28, 2011

中华中学的运动会! Zhong Hua Zhong Xue's Sports Meeting!

Duration: 1.5 days
Location: New School
Grades: Middle School-High School

Just a heads up...when I say 1.5 days I don't mean 36-48 continuous hours! The Sports meeting was held on Friday and Saturday, on Friday is was from 7AM-5PM and on Saturday it was from 7AM-12PM. I was surprised that the sports meeting would actually take this long but with the amount of people in the school, I guess it was quite reasonable..afterall there were probably more than 1,000 students and a bunch of teachers (like I mentioned before, each grade has around 12-15 main classrooms/homerooms and each class has about 50 students, so that is a lot of students!). When my host sister and I arrived everyone was getting ready outside. My first thought was "Wow, this is so much different than any event in America!" Outside there were a bunch of little seats lined up in rows and each row had been labelled according to the homeroom, mine was 高二(八) (Gao Er, (Ba)). 
All of the seats lined up! You can see the label!
I was quite bewildered when the sports event started. It wasn't a typical "Welcome everybody to the 2011 Sports meet! *Woohooo!!*" It was more like: Marching in an orderly fashion and raising the chinese flag. It was different than what I was expecting but It wasn't was fascinating because it was something I never saw and something I have never experienced before. There were around 30 or so people who represented each grade level and marched around the track. No one really explained the real meaning behind the marching and flag raising but I guess it was self-explanitory. 

My grade carrying the red flags! Red symbolizes "luck" in China
加油, 加油!!

Very serious!...seriously....

At the very end they had the Chinese flags that they put up!

All of the grade levels and representatives accross the field
After the beginning ceremony, all of the students busted out their snacks and started talking to their friends. Not many of them paid much attention to what was going on in the field, which took me by surprise since I imagined all of them to be watching attentively. I expected everyone to be involved and cheering each other on with school spirit but this was America that I was idealising. Most of the students just walked around, ate or chatted with their friends...some were cheering kids on but I did not see much of this. There were many different activities happening at the same time. One group would be running the 800m while other people would be doing the long-jump, shot-put and things like that. 

I wasn't going to take part in the sports meet mainly because I didn't have the type of clothes to run in other than the long sweats and jacket that the school provided for me (which was the uniform). At around 12, it was lunch time and the cafeteria was so packed! My friends and I decided to skip and come back later. When most people were finished eating we headed to the supermarket in the school and just sat at the benches outside. We sat there for a couple of hours and killed time by talking, playing games and listening to music. I communicated with them through Chinese which felt good because I feel like I'm making a lot of progress! 

Number of identification when taking part in an event

Saturday, October 22, 2011

中华门!Zhong Hua Gate

After the first week of school, my classmates asked me if we could all do something on the weekend! I was excited that they already asked me to go out, they gave me a few options as to where they could take me, Nanjing Library, Zoo, Zhong Hua Gate...I decided on Zhong Hua Gate because I always drive under the Zhong Hua Gate everyday, to school, to Xin Jie Kou...almost anywhere really! I thought it was by time I visited the Zhong Hua Gate so we decided on going there. It was a total of six people who came, 4 girls and 2 other boys from my class.

The Zhong Hua Gate is the Southern gate of Nanjing. The construction of the castle took twenty-one years from 1366-1387. It was built early in the Ming Dynasty. The gate was rebuilt over and over because it kept on collapsing, the gate stopped collapsing when a treasure bowl was buried under the gate. In 1366, Zhu Yuanzhang began builging a wall around the city of Nanjing to defend it from attack. The structure of the gate is pretty complex. It has three closed courtyards and four arched doors that serve as the entrance. 27 tunnels were built in the castle to store food, weapons and 3000 soldiers. There is also steep ramps on the west and east sides of the gate. The structure was built with bricks that were put together from lime, sticky rice juice and tung oil. The brick builders were told to mark their names on each brick. One reason why the gate is still so remarkable today is also because you can still see the Chinese characters on many of the bricks!

Zhong Hua Gate entrance!

Chinese writing on the bricks!

Second floor of the gate

The steep ramp on the east side of the gate

Looking down from the second floor

Steep ramp on the west side!

At the very top of the gate. There was a beautiful sunset! It's hard to
 capture a moment like this in China! I've missed this beauty!
From the outside, the Zhong Hua Gate dosen't look as big as it actually is, but once you go inside it is huge! There are different sites you can visit inside. There were places with aincient paintings, a room with a timeline story, a garden, some dark underground areas where I mentioned weapons and food were stored and where soldiers went to hide. The structure of the Gate is amazing also, If you come to Nanjing, you should check it out!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lunch & Class meeting(:

For lunch today I went to my Chinese teacher's house! Her mom cooked us some food and it was really delicious! One thing I can say is that the house I live in now is nothing compared to the house my Chinese teacher, Gao Yi Zi lived in. Her house reminded me more of what China was like. Her mom was a very kind woman. They told me to eat more and more because I don't eat as much as I should, but I was so full already! Of course, I didn't want to be rude so I ate and ate until I really couldn't take it anymore!

Gao Yi Zi's mom cooking for us!

Fruit that they gave me after the meal, It was so difficult to eat!
After lunch we headed back to the classroom and I had some Chinese lessons. When that was over, I headed back to the school for the class meeting. Everything was arranged for me as I walked in! Kids wrote "Welcome Emma" on the blackboard and had a powerpoint that they created!

It was so sweet because they had presented everything to me in English and they had a script well prepared for me also! 

After they had welcomed me to the class, some of the students had prepared songs to sing for me. Some songs were in English and others were in Chinese. After they sung their songs, we played a guessing game, where I would face the class, someone would write something on the wall and someone would act it out in front of me and I would have to guess what the word was without looking at the board. 

The guessing game!
 After the games, I taught them a little about Hawaiian and Hawaiian culture. They all seemed to be pretty interested and were surprised about the temperature in Hawaii! Also about the history of the Chinese coming to Hawaii.


The reason why this post is titled "School #2" is because my school has two different locations...I was at the new location at first but transferred to the old one last monday...

Long story short, the Chinese program in the other school was better for me, which is why I switched schools. At first I felt sad because I was leaving all of the friends that I made but going to the school that I am in now isn't bad at all! Actually, all of the kids were so welcoming and they are all so excited to have a foreigner in the class!

On the first day of school, it was like starting all over again but I was up for it firstly because it was what I thought had to be done but secondly because I find meeting other people very fun and exciting. When I walked into the classroom the whole class started to clap and said "Whoa!!!!" I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Everyone surrounded me like I was some famous person and was asking me all kinds of questions! When class started everyone a whispering to try to ask me questions and it was pretty hectic! I'm not exaggerating here, I promise. Well they told me that on Friday the class was going to put together a "Welcoming" for me so I was pretty excited about that too!

Right now, I'm pretty happy with the new school location, and not to mention it is so much more convinient to get into town and back home...15 minutes max!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

紫金山!Purple Mountain

Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean translation!

On October 7th my host-dad and I went to Purple Mountain! and no...It was not "purple" :P

Zi Jin Mountain has many different tourist areas that people can visit. Actually there are so many that they say that its hard to go to every place in one day. There's hiking and also a tramline!

The most visited sites are:
-Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum
  Which Is where I went with my host dad. It is the most popular and tons and tons of people go there every day. This is the resting place of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the 1911 revolution!
- Ming Dynasty emperor Tomb
- The tomb of Sun Quan

The description!

The start

There were a bunch of little shops that had little random things, they would get buyers to buy their product (or to get the us to want to slightly consider buying their product) by saying that it truely is the best and the buyer won't regret it...hahah :P There were many shops like these that were selling clothes, shoes, souvenirs, and food! 
Some sites cost money so many people say it is worth buying a pass to visit different parks in the mountains.

While climbing up the stairs my host-dad and I bumped into his cousin and her husband and son. Her son is an 8th grader and we all talked and ended up climbing up together! He told me a lot of the historical events with every statue or characters written on the temples. A long time ago they read from right to left but now they read from left to right!

Seeing a foreigner carrying his iPad and taking pictures with it just made my day!



好喝,好吃!Good Drink, Good food!

Last week my friend and I hung out,

We went to Coco and bought some milk tea! I think that Nanjing's "Coco" has the best milk tea/Nai Cha! Afterwards we went to eat some Chinese noodles!

Ah, It was so good! :D


We also went on the underground train!

mmmm noodles!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

国庆节: NATIONAL HOLIDAY! Three days in one post!

The National Day (of the People's Republic of China) is celebrated every year on October 1st. Public Chinese schools all have a one week holiday to celebrate the national day. Our holiday is from Oct 1-7. Literally seven days because we have to attend school on Saturday and Sunday and throughout the a week of non-stop school after the holidays! 

On October second, I met up with my friend Nathan from America. We decided to meet up at Aqua City and we just explored from there...headed to Fu Zu Miao, Xin Jie Kou and then to Golden Eagle...somehow we ended up at Aqua City at the end of the day. We basically talked and looked around to see different areas of Nanjing. I feel a lot more comfortable now going out alone and at night to just explore and see the surroundings. I think this is great because now I can get lost without freaking out!! (Not that that is my intention at all..but just "if" that occurs I would be able to keep a good composure). We ate dinner at this japanese restaurant! It was pretty good, I ended up getting home around 9:30 PM. It was such a long but good day! It felt good to meet another American in Nanjing (the only other American I know in Nanjing is Hawk..and he is only staying for a semester):!!!) 
Nathan & I near Golden Eagle (another shopping mall)

On October 3rd, my classmate, Tiffany planned a KTV(Karaoke) get-together. I was really excited to go with a bunch of my classmates and I thought it would be a really good time for me to get to know them better! We all met up in front of the school and walked to the KTV place. There were about 10 other people there and it was really fun! We sung a lot of English songs, and yes...they knew a lot of them! Of course I didn't know any of the chinese songs but I just listened to them and also choose other songs to sing afterwards. The people here really like Lady Gaga and one of my classmates really liked Ke$ha :P We all sung songs by: Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Avril, Taylor Swift....there were more! We spent a couple hours in the KTV from 1:30-5:30 PM. 

After our session in KTV was over, all of us headed over to grab some dinner. We had "hot pot" which is really popular during the winter. It was really tasty! There was a big pot with soup inside and the pot had two sides to it, one spicy and the other not spicy. We could order our own vegtables or meat to put inside the soup. We ordered mushrooms, potatoes, noodles, beef...and a bunch of other things. They brought them out to us raw and we would put them in the soup and cook it inside. There was a seperate little bowl with some peanut paste and some other liquid...(not too sure what it was) but we dipped our food in it. It tasted very good!! 
Hot Pot. Half/Half

A couple of us at dinner!

QY, Lucas and I at this store trying on glasses and hats!
(After dinner) 
October 4th:
Today I met up with my friend Giulia from Italy! We decided to meet up in Xin Jie Kou and go shopping around there. Our main goal was to find boots for the winter season coming our way....but we couldn't find a good pair ): It was either very nice boots but way too expensive OR very cheap boots but very..tacky O: So we are going to research a little more to find something more "in between" In price and in looks! At first we looked in Lai Di but didn't find anything and by the time we finished it was noon so we decided to go to PIZZA HUT! I never thought that I would miss eating pizza but I felt so happy that we were going to eat pizza! For some reason, in China, KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut are really popular! Whenever I see Pizza Hut there is always a giant line of people outside of the doors. When Giulia and I arrived at Pizza Hut we had to wait on line for about 15 minutes before we were seated. I was suprised when we went inside Pizza Hut because it was an actual a place people actually went to, to enjoy their meal..which was very different compared to America. I was so excited when we got into the restaurant because everything on the menu seemed so familiar. We thought that the pizza portion would be very small so we ordered one regular sized pizza each and a carbonada pasta. When the food came we were like "Oh no....this is A LOT of food...." I ended up eating only two slices of my pizza and some pasta! was a waste to just leave all of the pizza there so we both took it home with us :P But it felt so good to eat something we both knew very well. After lunch we still searched for boots and some winter clothes, but tough luck. I think we need a little help with someone who is thats a plan for another day! We basically walked around all day from 1:30 until 5:30 until we headed to Aqua City and went to felt so good to finally sit down and rest for a while. After eating a blizzard from DQ we headed to H&M....still tough luck with finding boots ): 
Next in line to go into Pizza Hut!

Yum! Popcorn chicken and hawaiian (had to get it!)

Trying on funky hats in H&M (:
We made plans to meet up on thursday too! Today was really fun (: I'm glad Giulia and I had a lot to talk about and that we got along really well! Goal for the next time? FIND BOOTS. 

This holiday: So far so gooooood :)!