Saturday, June 6, 2015

Day 26: Host Family Timeeeee!

Picture 1 Grandpa 爷爷 welcomed me home.

Picture 2 Papa Jiang took me out for ice cream.
Picture 3-4 Touring Lao Men Dong
Picture 5 My host family's beautiful home
Picture 6 Jenny's paper-cutting artwork
Picture 7 Confucius Temple 

This is the day that I have always been waiting for!! Host family time! I was very nervous yet excited and curious about my host family last night. I woke up and checked out of Nanda 南大 at 10:30 am. Then at 11 am sharp, Dong Laoshi introduced me to Mr. Jiang (my host dad) and Ms. Wu (my host mom). Mr. Jiang and Ms. Wu, who are in their 40s, both work for Jiangsu Nanjing Power Supply Company for almost 28 years. They have one little girl, her English name is Jenny. She is a sophomore at Nanjing Normal University Affiliated High School. After graduation, Jenny wants to go study abroad in America so right now, she is working very hard on her SAT and TOEFL exams

After picking me up from 南大, we went to Jenny's TOEFL class to pick her up. My new home is not too far away from 南大. It is a very beautiful apartment building on the 6th floor, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a small garden. By the time we got home, grandpa and grandma welcomed me with the biggest smiles. The Jiang family has 3 generations living happily together. Grandpa and grandma have already retired, so everyday, they busy themselves by taking care of the garden, exercising Tai Chi ( Chinese traditional martial art), drinking tea, and reading newspaper. During my homestay, i will live in Jenny's room while she moves to her parents' room for 1 week. Jenny's room is very big and cute so I offered to share the room with her, but my host mom did not let me do so. I was so touched by their hospitalities. They kept insisting that this is my new home, I don't need to be so formal, I can do whatever I want. 

Nainai 奶奶 (grandma) already cooked a big lunch for us. Today's special dish was Yan2 Shui3 Ya1 盐水鸭 (Salted Duck), one of the most famous dishes in Nanjing. The meat was very tender and flavorful. I enjoyed all the food a lot. Grandma kept filling my bowl with all the food and explained to me that I need more nutrients. She is such a kind and wholehearted woman that considered me as her second grand-daughter only after a few hours. She told me that she will sure miss me a lot when I leave. After lunch, I helped Grandma cleaning up then I spent time with Grandpa. He showed me many of his old pictures when he was a doctor and told me many interesting traveling experiences. 

Then at 2:30, my host dad took me on his electronic bike to go around the neighborhood. He asked me about the internship workplace then taught me how to get from home to the subway stations. He was so caring and thoughtful that he even helped me taking notes of where and when to get on and get off. Riding the electronic bike was an unique experience that I could only enjoy in China. That moment when my leg almost touched the nearby electronic biker's leg was indescribable. I was quite scared but it was really fun. My goal at the end of this homestay is to try riding this bike at least once. At that time, host mom took Jenny to the hospital to check on her ears since they hurt a lot lately. 

Meanwhile, Jiang 叔叔 took me to LaoMenDong and Confucius's temple to look around. There are many tourists in these busy areas. Both sides of the walking streets are full of small souvenir shops and restaurants. Even when I have lived in Nanjing for 3 weeks, I still felt so overwhelmed by the diversity of food Nanjing has to offer. On the way, I tried stinky tofu for the first time of my life and I enjoyed that experience

We got home right at dinner time. I was so full by eating too much on the tour but grandma still insisted that I need to eat dinner, so she gave me a full bowl of her yummy seaweed soup. After dinner, Jenny showed me her paper cutting artworks. Paper -cutting is a form of art that Jenny has been studying for 2 years with one of the most famous paper-cutters in China. I really admired her patience and her attention to detail skill to create such beautiful masterpieces. It usually takes about at least an hour just to finish one piece. She promised to teach me tomorrow.

- Amy V.

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