Picture 1: Alice's hungry silkworms now living in our dorm
Picture 2: Watching my dumpling dinner being made
Picture 3: View of Nanjing from my dorm
Picture 4: Chinese Listening class today
After a good nights rest recharging from the busy weekend in Anhui, we woke up ready to seize the day with our 10-hour language pledge. It's nice to witness those students who came to China for the first time, knowing less than a Chinese toddler knows slowly but surely improve in the language. In contrast, many have lost their 'foreigners' accent and can confidently assimilate into the local environment, ordering as many buns and mantou as they want for breakfast.
On an average weekday like today, I trace the heavenly smell coming from downstairs and slowly make my way to a little stall set up in front of our accommodation. Shushu (uncle) and Aiyi (aunty) set up their stalls as the sun rises, and disappear promptly at 9am, so it's crucial that I'm there to get in line for the delicious JianBing (A breakfast crepe with savory fillings like pickled vegetables, chilli sauce, and a crispy fried biscuit). It's been raining especially heavily the past few days, so my roommate (Alice Gao) and I made a quick dash before class.
As soon as our 4 hours of language classes ended at 12pm, Dong Laoshi and I stood in the rain and hailed a cab. We booked it to the EU Chamber of Commerce office in Nanjing, where I will be doing an internship starting Monday next week, to meet with my advisor. I met Mei (Rose), who was the only one in the office this afternoon because they were still transferring over from their previous office down the street. In the midst of some unpacked boxes and blank desktops, she ran through my tasks that are all part of the preparation for the big event on Thursday. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity of working with at this kind of organization - the integration of western and eastern business, based in China. I will be satisfied if my short week there can have the slightest impact in boosting Europe-Chinese business guanxi, and hope to return to China in the near future to engage in similar work.
On a separate note, I am rushing to prepare for my first exam on Thursday. Having a language partner for 2 hours a day, three times a week has been incredibly helpful. Aside from revising with them, my favorite thing about having a language partner is learning the 'street/local vocabulary' that's often mentioned in Chinese talk shows. Some of what I've learnt is very snappy and witty, and it's been fun joking around with Chinese friends we've made at places like the cooking class.
I'm winding down today by sitting in the laundry room writing my journal and completing the days homework. Tomorrow is going to be an equally challenging day, but like everyone else, I'm excited to be one day closer to exams!
- Sie R.