I woke up at 6:30, hit the snooze button once then got up to start my day. It may seem like a normal day in the life of a NanDa student, but today was one of a kind because it's my birthday!
I got to class at 8, my professor made the class sing happy birthday in Chinese to me which was kind of embarrassing. Then we started today's lesson, which was on birthdays. I learned how to say happy birthday, birthday cake, birthday song, and birthday wish so I'm all prepared for the rest of my day.
After class, my friends and I went to Bellini's to celebrate. It's an Italian restaurant, so it wasn't very China of us to go there, but pizzas are half price on Wednesday so it was totally worth it. After lunch we had a little break, then everyone met with their language partners for two hours of Chinese practice and lesson review. After an hour of working on grammar and tones, my language partner decided to take a few of us on a field trip to the grocery store down the street. It was pouring out so after about 5 seconds in the rain, we decided the grocery store was too far so we just ducked into a convenience store. Even if it didn't have the huge slabs of meat and giant piles of fruit, it was still pretty cool. I wanted to try something new, so I asked my language partner to pick something out for me. She got me some weird candy made of eggs, I can't really tell if I like it or not but it's definitely something new.
Our field trip ended at 4 and I said goodbye to my language partner, then went to the lobby to wait for our surprise event at 4:30. It turned out to be a tiny birthday party for me in the cafeteria of the dorm. The whole Dialogue crew was there and Jen bought a cake to celebrate, and even though I had failed at cutting slices for everyone and they were all totally messed up, it was an awesome surprise (: they sang for me in front of the whole cafeteria, which was even more embarrassing than in class this morning, then Malia smashed a piece of cake in my face.
After I finished cleaning the frosting out of my eyebrows, Caton, Andy, Michelle and I all studied for a while and listened to Beyoncé. At 7, we left for Indian food, which I've never eaten before. I totally regret not eating Indian food for 20 years, because it was incredible and I want to eat it every day for the rest of my life now. I kind of feel like I'm betraying China by eating Italian and Indian food today, but it's my birthday so I don't feel too bad. This was my first birthday away from home and I spent it on the opposite side of the world, but it was actually really awesome.
- Jared R.