So Halloween was a lot of fun. I was invited to a party by a friend of mine who is currently studying at Normal University through CET. The two of us were Chinese classmates at the University of Minnesota for the past two years so it’s been pretty crazy to meet up again on the other side of the Earth. I wish I had taken some pictures of the party but alas I was too busy having fun to remember! It wasn’t much different than parties back home; about 30 of us Americans rented out a private house for 100RMB each. There was a lot of good beer and the good ol’ American college party games I’ve already started to miss.
The Summer Palace
Yeah yeah I know, I’ve said before and I’ll say again that I do not like tourist attractions. Personally, I have trouble enjoying myself at them because I am too focused on the fact that they generally represent countries in the way that foreigners view them as opposed to the reality. Moreover, I have never been a fan of crowded spaces or overpriced souvenirs. But when your teachers arrange an all expenses paid field trip instead of regular class, how can you say no? I am glad I went. Because it was snowing, not a lot of people were there. As for me, I would actually recommend going in the winter. It was absolutely beautiful.
Applying For Jobs
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time looking around at career prospects to pursue after returning to the states. I didn’t know this before, but I’ve learned in recent years that many corporations begin accepting applications near the end of seniors’ Fall semester and it is a good idea for you to start applying during this time (seriously, look it up).
I am not going to lie, it is very hard to find a job in the States that will utilize non-native Chinese speakers. Or at least that is my impression from countless hours of research and asking other Americans who have been in my position. It seems the reality is that your English is extremely valuable in China, but your Chinese is not very valuable in America. So if you learn Chinese, yeah you’re going to open the door to a lot of very high paying jobs, but the reality is they’re all going to be in China which is not where a lot of Americans want to spend the rest of their life (hence the demand).
I keep telling myself there is no way in hell I am not making something of what I spent the past 3+ years studying. To be honest it is a bit frustrating. On one hand I do wish someone had maybe made this more clear to me when I began learning the language… but on the other, I don’t think I would trade much for the wonderful learning experiences Chinese has brought me. It really, really has been quite a fun time. So I guess you could say I’m a bit confused with how I’m going to keep this ball rolling after my time here is up. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Tube Station Pizza has good pizza. It’s not as good as the pizza we found at Beihai park, but it’s only 15-20 minutes from Zhongguanxinyuan (our dorm).
I bought a guitar for 450RMB. That’s around $75 and definitely worth being able to still play music during my time here.
The North Koreans had cigars at their booth during Peking’s cultural festival. I don’t smoke, but these were just too cool to walk by.
The gym here has badminton courts you can pay a small fee to reserve. We’ve gotten in the habit of playing after class.
This stuff was pretty good but be warned, a little spicy does not seem to have the same meaning here in China. If you do not like things ridiculously hot, just order them without any spice all.