Last week as you can tell had a lot of interesting things and crazyness. Let me take it one event at a time.
The silliest was one of the girls had a birthday and we all pitched in to get her a really nice delicious cake. It’s notable because it ended up on faces. I ninja’d my way around it all to avoid a messy face but others felt Renata’s cake-fury.
My next two topics are the strange way our university behaves. I feel like much of it is because it’s a Chinese university and some of it because it’s a smaller, more local university that tries to feel more like a bigger more modern one.
First, they mandated we all attend a singing competition. Of course we didn’t have to sing but we had to attend. Never mind that this has literally no academic value.. we have to go because of reasons.
BECAUSE FUCK YOU THAT’S WHY! We can’t possibly have better ways to spend our time. While mildly interesting, it meant Jagoda and I had to wait to hit the gym which means later return, which means less time for something I’d actually want to do or something productive like studying.
I had photos from this but they kind of weren’t really worth showing. It was basically an attempt to create “The Voice” at Anshan Normal University. They even gave us glow sticks and had guys in suits giving fake roses to the singers. What the actual fuck. Only in China.
The other typically Chinese event was our fire safety day. There was a fire in the canteen a few days prior so that means EVERYONE must attend a big show of fire safety crap. While a quick look on how to operate a fire extinguisher and having a fire evacuation plan has value, the rest was just typical patting themselves on the back and OOOing and AAHHHing over every day things.
They had fire trucks and all!
As you can see, they took time to show off the fire truck being able to do fire truck things. I’m not sure what the reason was but I was like.. “Why are we watching this?? Do people not know how a fire truck works?”
Meanwhile, the Chinese students who were there as well were all OOOing and AHHHing at everything like they’ve never seen a fire truck in their life.. or they were 5 years old and would be amused as such things.
I wasn’t sure if it was faked enjoyment or that their lives are so devoid of any real fun and excitement that it’s comparatively awesome.. That’s a sad reality for kids going through Chinese education system… not much time for actual lives outside of school.
The other thought was it seemed very similar to behavior exhibited during early Communist takeover.. Chinese citizens had to seem overly excited about EVERYTHING the party did and was or else risk being labeled a “rightist” which could end up being deadly. It seems many times the people are still like this about things and I wonder if it’s residual behavior that is subconsciously passed down, even if it’s not longer a life and death thing.
It’s just speculation though.
After the firetruck we had a guy speak about knots and another about fire extinguisher and people were allowed to try it.
Yeah.. much ado about very little if you ask me. Of course it was mandatory.
Finally, meet 泽元 or Marco as we call him. I met him early in the semester when I saw him playing frisbee alone and I just joined in on whimsy. He ended up being quite a great guy and a good friend. Since he knows no English, he’s a great person to practice with so we will go on walks to famous locations or check out the night market and since he’s local he knows all the best restaurants and such that I’d otherwise never find.
He also helped me find my package after this lunch that my mom sent as it was sent to a 快递 (express service) that was actually quite far from the university.
He’s a gentleman too which is nice. The unfortunate consequence of being a white woman in China is that when guys find out I have a Chinese husband they like to ask inappropriate questions (just happened yesterday!) and it’s really annoying. It stems from a stereotype that Western women are 开放 (open) and will talk about personal relationship things. Very personal.
I shut that shit down right away by deleting them as it usually on Wechat or QQ, but it’s disturbingly common.
Anyway, I should study now! I have to know how to write about 100 characters for tomorrow.
I’m starting to plan my 寒假 (winter vacation). I will be in the US-Canada for approximately 2.5-3 weeks as it will depend on flight prices and such.
When I return to China I’ll be taking trains down China from Beijing to Shanghai hitting various cities along the way including Suzhou and Hangzhou. I plan to meet a friend of mine in Fuzhou who is teaching and from there we will either go to Sichuan or stay closer and go to Guangzhou or something like that.
That will be a time of interesting stuff for you fine people!
Oh and Marco and I found my sister’s dream cake.
Nom, nom, nom.