It’s exactly two weeks now that I’ve been living in China. Fourteen days of curiousity, insight, new tastes and smells, trying to remember the names of over 200 students, and walking for at least ten aimless hours around the city. I dig Huizhou a lot. The hardest part of living here is not knowing the language, but I’m starting to pick it up at a moderate pace. Mandarin is not as hard as I thought it would be. It has very basic grammar, but the pronuciation and rising and falling tones are what can make it difficult. My mouth and tongue attempting to form new and unusual combinations can sometimes make me sound like a bad Kung Fu flick.
I’m sore right now from all the walking around I’ve done this past week and I also played some four-on-four basketball with my students for a couple hours. I haven’t played in a few years and it was funny because I was the only one calling timeouts so I could catch my breath and chug some water. I was a sweaty mess, but it was fun and a lot of the students would stop and watch a ‘live-real-life-white-man’ in his own sporting element. I’m sure my ability didn’t quite rise to their expectations. Some of the students’ love for basketball here is pretty intense, seeing as the fifteen or so courts here on campus are always alive with the sounds of shuffling sneakers and the constant hollow-air bounce.
I promised more pictures of the city and I hope my strolling around was able to deliver. I ran into two of my male students one day at a McDonalds (I was starving with no pictures on menus in sight) and they were able to show me around the city’s famous ‘West Lake’. There’s an assortment of other pictures here too. When you don’t have an intinerary, you just have to let your legs and eyes dictate your lefts and rights through the streets. I’ll let my camera frame do the rest of the talking (with captions).