Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Entering my final week in China

Dear Family,

It feels too long since I wrote you. I need to do research to recall what I need to begin on. I realize that people may want to have a dialog, but I might as well finish, writing the story of my adventure here.
Thursday was a nice chill day because it was women's day. I don't know, if many Chinese people celebrate it as much as my associates, but the school teachers went out. Since the day was a half day, We went to a mall, having a fun time at an arcade and a restaurant. Girl love to go have fun, so they were generous with buying token and playing games. Some of the games were boring, since the difficulty seems to be scaled back. I usually don't do well on racing games, but I was able to basically win the one that I was playing. I was pushing the back bumper of the first place winner. This can also be a sign of how easy it is to do well at this arcade, playing the games. It got good though. I will not go one explaining video games.
In the evening Melissa took me to meet her family. Melissa is married, so we first went to pick up her child. The primary school is huge. They need to organize the departure of the students in order to keep it sane. This school has thirty classes of fifty students! Fifty students per class is average.
Melissa's son is really cool. Since it was a week day, we were not able to get to know each other well. He also had to do homework, so I was left to hang out, doing what I want. Melissa showed me family pictures and Hsu Chih-mo poetry 徐志摩的. This poetry is love poetry, so I am not too interested in it. She did give me a book though. I don't know what it is about, but it begins three hundred years ago. I am realizing a book saying that is kind of odd. I will figure it out though.
The book is written in traditional Chinese. I am afraid that it may be Cantonese. It is written from right to left, and up to down. It seems that there may be many one word sentences, so that is a little confusing.
Melissa treats me as her only little brother, since she has never had siblings. On Friday my older sister took me shopping to buy books, so I can practice learning Chinese. Since studying dialog in my current opinion seems to be a good way to go, learning Chinese, I had her buy me a comic book the size of a manga. It is about a legendary male opera singer that cross dresses, during her performances. I hope that he is not a cross dresser all day long. The other book that Melissa bought me is from the thirties. I hope that this book can be enlightening. It has the English text in the back, so I can test if my translation is good.
Saturday was an awesome day. After studying the scriptures, I was lead to take a nap, which was good because I was awaken up to be informed that we were going Ru Gao to meet Sam's family. I love Ru Gao. This day was cool because I was taken to meet Sam's father at his factory. He is the big man over the factory. Figuring out what the factory was making was a puzzle because I did not have a tour guide. I had a pretty accurate idea what they were making, which was confirmed, when I was given a catalog. They make machines that manufacture raw material like metals and plastics. I enjoyed the puzzle; then, we went to Yacht and Sam's old high school.
I had a lot of fun at the high school. The school was quiet, since it was the weekend, but if you read my blog article about his school. I will need to update it. They have institutionalised meeting from 7 in the morning to 9 at night. All of them are not class. I was surprised to witness what I was told from Sam and Yacht was true. On every Saturday they test their skills to prepare for university exams. A teacher took me on a tour of the campus. They have three gigantic five story building for the school's facility. Since school is all day long and the students come from far and wide, many students have to live in dorms.
The teach let me interview her students perhaps because I told her that I interviewed Sam. It was more like they were interviewing me though. This teacher only had fifteen students, who are preparing to go to foreign universities. I am of the impression that they also have learning disabilities. They were cool! We took pictures. I feel that the class setting was an experience given to me my God, for I was able to have a great time. I was grateful that I was not overwhelmed with fifty students. When it came time for break, some of the guys took me to play basketball.
Although most boys are crazy about basketball, I was surprised that my skill was average or looked upon as good. The skill level of most students in basketball is weak compared to America. I am lost on the court at home, but here I was in the game. Some of the best basketball players of the school wanted to play with me. I was surprised that I had a pretty accurate shot. I kind of lived up the name of America. If I was Michael Angulo or Kade Bullough, I would be looked upon as a Michael Jordan. Their skill is not good because most people work all day long, and little time is given to recreation.
The night was crazy. I was taken to a place to shower. After showering, we went to a sauna type room. This room had a very social environment. We went shopping just before coming here to eat at the sauna. This weekend I felt full most of the day. I was offered food all day long. I don't know how the Chinese people do it. Maybe they do it just because I am a foreigner, and many American people are obese. After eating at a nice restaurant, they often have noodle soup. I don't know about you, but I go to dinner to have a filling meal. It does not seems so here. Sitting an the hundred degree room for a while, we went to a resting room.
In this room, I asked Sam's 'brother' how often he comes her, wondering how wealthy the family is. How often to they afford going to shower and relax here. He refused to answer. When we entered the resting room, we were lead to walk through the rooms of one of the residence, since this business was family run. I said hi to the girls casually on a computer as I was trained to do according to the Jamaican culture.
I was wave hi to the girls once in a while according to the Jamaican habit that I have, waving hi to people whenever it is appropriate. One of the girls said "I love you." Since they were 'embracing our bond,' which is my definition of a friendship, I had to make it lasting. I went over to talk to the three girls. We exchanged QQ numbers. They were not confident with their English, so I had to exercise my patience as they retrieved the sister that knew English the best. You may not be able to know this unless you visited here, but instant lasting brotherly friendships are formed. Two of the friends of the family left, and we were left to get to know the family. I got to know the brother, who is an English teacher. We took pictures, and the youngest daughter walked me out. She was not confident in her English; but to show you how the instant lasting brotherly friendships are formed. I heard the sincere words "I will miss you." as I made my farewell.
Sunday was nice too. I was honored that Sam's family gave me this day too. I don't feel like writing much about this day because I have an odd feeling about this Sabbath day. Since the family was Chinese, I could not preach to them, so my sabbath observance was not as great as I wanted. I thought of the phrase if someone compels you to go a mile go with them twain, and as I pondered the commandment within the ten commandments, I more fully realized how meaningful the words are in this commandment.
On Monday I was inspired to make Chinese French Toast for my older sister Melissa, but I ended up feeling the entire faculty. They are not sick now, and they said hao cher, so it must have been good. I was almost frustrating to cook it. Sam's family was surprised when I informed them of the size of the loaves in America. They are like three times the size of them her. The bakery section is more like a small pastry section. I used up the whole Chinese loaf of bread, trying too cook in a metal pot. Mary does not have a pan, but I was lucky to have plenty of eggs and I was able to have four slices not burnt. The way I served it was more Chinese than the French toast. Since I knew that it would be a hassle to find a fork, I cut the toast into bite size pieces. The food was displayed very nicely. I had a small bowl full of strawberry yogurt within a big bowl full of the bit size pieces of French Toast. I saw extra grapes and longan fruit around to I put that on top too.
That evening we celebrated at a Steakhouse me, leaving. This past weekend I got many new friends on QQ, for I also am friends now with the students that I met at Sam's school. The teachers that took me out bugged the waiter, which knew English pretty well to talk to me. He wanted to exchange QQ numbers. He is super cool.
The teacher expressed their love to me through him as the translator. They had him test me if they know their names as they always do. Chinese names are very hard to remember because they always give there full name, and they say their name backwards. Reminding me of their Chinese names almost everyday kind of makes sense.
My final week here has been pretty quiet until last night. I have been writing a lot. I write as the teacher knit and the children sleep. Last night Yao's friends contacted me to hang out tomorrow, and I may go the Shanghai on Friday. My final week is turning out well.

Love
Alex

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