请问– I Never Thought I’d Need a Compass

With the exception of a few afternoons most everyday had a legitimate plan of some sort: classes, trips, touring . . . etc. In fact, the first few weeks were so jammed with stuff to do that I didn’t hardly write about my days. Yesterday I faced a free weekend looming over me. It’s a little overwhelming to look at two days with no plans in a city at least double the size of NYC. Some people enjoy exploring the city themselves. Even though I can get around pretty well, I dislike being by myself. The first things I do when I come into my dorm room are turn on all the lights, open the window, turn on the TV and music, then and then re-connect the internet and VPN on my phone and computer. The VPN allows me to use facebook, twitter, youtube, and other websites which are blocked by the government  (including netflix which only works in the US, which I also often turn on, though it takes quite a long time to play anything)

Looking at the logistics of buying train tickets, booking hostels, studying for a final exam, and packing up for a final week of travel plus the free weekend was beginning to feel like more than I could handle. This morning I slept in a bit and then watched some TV. By 10am Valerie and I had decided on going to LongHua Temple off the end of Line 3 on the subway.

I grabbed a little extra money in-case we got lost and needed a cab ride home and we set off to the Yanchang station. Two stops later we were in the Railway Station trying to transfer lines. Both very confused we went to the service desk.  I had exactly the words I needed to say to explain how we were coming from Yanchang and needed to get to line 3 and that we had already paid the fare. Apparently everyone but us knew how the transfer worked and it wasn’t a big deal. She scanned our cards and let us through.

Our destination was quite a few stops away and not in the main area of the city so when we got off the subway and grabbed some drinks a local store the ladies were very fascinated with us. They asked how long we were here for, where we were from, how old we were, I was quite happy to practice my Chinese with them, and they were amused at us.

Our directions told us to get off the Subway, exit out gate 1 and then walk east for 15 minutes. I never knew I’d use that compass app on my iPhone. I will say my Chinese character apps have been priceless.

The Temple was gorgeous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards we stumbled across a memorial for martyrs and explored a history museum for quite a while, trying to recall information from Chinese 331 history and culture class from the Spring semester.

As we were leaving Valerie went into the restroom and I stood waiting by the door. One of the curators or guards asked me to sit down, she talked to me in rapid Chinese but I was pleased to find that I understood almost everything she was telling me.

After a while we bought some food at a street vendor. It may have been a little sketchy, but my steamed dumplings were delicious and the people were so pleased to have us come, we even came back again for seconds.

From the time we left the South Gate and the graduates asked for our picture to the subway home we were surrounded by lots of friendly Chinese who were fascinated and amused by us.

Language learning and entering a new culture has a lot of ups and downs. Today was an up, and I hope that I can continue to use as much Chinese in my final 13 days here. I feel like today was quite an accomplishment on a lot of levels and if I can feel that way about the rest of my time here I’ll be very happy when I get home to Kentucky. I’m so thankful that Jesus gets me through days I expect to be impossible.

He makes everything possible.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: