It is definitely bittersweet to realize that I only have 43 days left in China. Really, it's only 35ish, since we will be traveling to Korea & Japan at the end. I'm incredibly excited to go home & see my family & friends & puppies. But I'm going to miss so many things!
At the most recent going-away party, it was me, my boss (wai ban), two spanish teachers, & the Vice President of Jinling. We went to a local restaurant that had really good food. We drank some beer, the Spanish teacher guy LOVES beer. Also, the two Spanish teachers announced they are getting married this summer. They met at Jinling & have been together for 4+ years. It is a super cute story, so that was pretty exciting. I found it funny that I really understood the Spanish better than the Chinese. I am surprised it is still good (or at least passable) since I hardly ever use it.
At the parties, I have had to eat some things I had avoided so far. Some were ok, most were not. I ate stinky tofu. Holy cow, it tasted exactly like it smells (like horse poop). My colleagues took a picture of my face when I tried it, you can tell I wasn't a big fan. I also at pig's feet. I had tried pig knuckle before but avoided pig's feet. However, when the VP of the university asks you to try it, you try it. There really wasn't much flavor, just a lot of cartilage and skin. Not a favorite. I also had duck blood soup again. Again, the VP kept gushing about how great it is and how traditional it is in Nanjing. I guess it's growing on me, but not something I would pick intentionally. We had a "Nanjing speciality" that seems to basically be the overcooked/burnt rice that sticks to the pan & forms a sort of bowl. It was not good, I ate it but it was really blah. It just tasted like burnt rice, obviously.
Another thing that has been adding to my busyness is that I have ramped up my studying of Chinese. I found a sweet program online, Memrise, that is really great for learning characters. I now have over 100 characters that I know from the program, plus the ones I have learned through daily life.
The job at the hotel has turned out differently than expected. I do a lot of translation help. I also have been teaching English to the front desk staff & housekeeping. I am doing some advertising and promotional work. However, since the hotel isn't officially open, there is less guest interaction than I had hoped. We do have a group from England coming on the 19th. I am super excited for that. I assume it will be quite exciting & I will be able to be even more useful.
I have been applying to jobs back home. It is stressful, trying to decide what I want to focus on. I have so many interests, but I do think I have narrowed it down to something in the fashion industry. No matter where I go or what I do, clothing is the first thing I notice.
I'm going to try and list things I will/won't miss everyday (whether I post or not) to help me remember when I am home.
- baozi, jiaozi, and all the other delicious breakfast foods
- the people (duh)
- seeing something new/surprising everyday
- tofu that is good
- being adored because I'm pale
- all the damn bugs (i have never had this many bug bites)
- the muggy heat (o wait, I will have that in StL too)
- being able to speak in english and not have people understand when I'm gossiping ;)
- bones in my food (and the consequent bone pile on the table by the end of the meal)
- being stared at because I'm white