Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 23, Wild Wednesday

Picture 1, Look how diverse my class is. Nationalities: (left to right) Korean - Japanese/American – American -Italian-Vietnamese-Belgian, Chinese. 

Picture 2, My "family" at Nan Da
Picture 3, My favorite dish
Picture 4-5, at the restaurant
Picture 6, Me and my friend from the class
Picture 7, Speaker Series

Today is just another ordinary day at Nanjing University. The fact that we only have 3 days of classes left makes me treasure every moment that I get to spend with my friendly classmates and my beloved teachers at Nan Da 南大。Also, the weather is very nice since today is the first day in the past week that there is no pouring rain in Nanjing. My favorite class here is the newspaper reading class, where I learn about many updated news/trends/controversial issues in China. And today, we got to talk about the tragedy of the flipping boat that killed more than 400 tourists, which happened just yesterday. It was very emotional reading about the experiences of some lucky survivors. Miracle happened when an old lady that spent 17 hours under the water got rescued. Then she called her family, crying out her first sentence " I'm still alive". 

Since this week is our last week of classes, so I spent two hours in the afternoon with my language partner preparing for my final exams. I will be tested on all four skills -- listening, speaking, writing and reading. After three weeks of intensive language training, I'm surprised by how much my Chinese levels have improved. 
At five o'clock, I went out with my classmates for dinner. My class at Nan Da is the most unique and the most diverse class that I have ever attended. My classmates come from all over the world: Belgium, Italy, Germany, Korea, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Brazil… It amazes me that no matter what age we are, what languages we speak, we can still bond together using Chinese as the common language. Having the opportunity to study with them opened up a whole new world to me. I get to listen to so many ideas from different perspectives, and get to learn about many customs and lifestyles in many countries. 

We went to a restaurant near Confucius's Temple, which is about 30 mins away from the university. It was a busy area with so many shopping malls and restaurant nearby. I definitely want to check it out when I have more time. 

The restaurant we went to was a fancy Chinese-style restaurant decorated with traditional lanterns hanging down the ceilings. The significant character of this restaurant is the open kitchen, which acts as a colorful and flavorful menu that we can just point at and order the food. Words cannot describe how much I love the food here. We ordered seven dishes and everything was so good. The happiness doubled with good companies. We had our mini-language class that we learned how to say simple sentences like hello/goodbye/thank you in each of our native languages. 

I attached the picture of the dish I liked the most here (I just forgot the name of it), but the main protein was chicken. The chicken was braised with a special caramelized sauce, added with extra thin slices of ginger to enhance the flavors. I think it's a little bit salty but the meat was so soft that it could melt in my mouth. The sesame bread acts a neutralize factor to balance out the saltiness. I could feel the explosion of flavors happening when I combined the two together. 

After the awesome dinner, I went back to the University for the speaker series. Our special guest today was Ms. Zhu, Mei, who is the Director of the Tai Lake Pollution Rescue and Prevention Office at the Jiangsu Provincial government. She is an amazing speaker that gave us detailed information about the current water system in China. She's also very open to all of our sensitive questions about the role of Chinese government in term of environmental protection. 

- Amy V.

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