2 months already?

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Flag of China  , Zhejiang,
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today is my 2 month mark. I can't even believe its already been 2 months. The time goes by soo fast. I have a nice little routine down and good friends. Can't complain!

Now that it's August the heat has really shown its true colors and it is NASTY. Now I know I am from Texas and of course I can handle the heat. Actually temperature wise it's hotter in Texas, however the humidity here makes Houston look like the driest town. It's outrageous how hot the humidity makes it feel here. Also another big difference with the heat in TX vs. China is that when I'm in Austin I can easily escape to Barton Springs, or we can go tubing on the river, or in my backyard with the mister. You just have to deal with it here. But I would take any gross hot day over a freezing cold snowy day. I am Texan after all.

I've started taking Chinese lessons! My teacher's name is Sheryl, she's from Wenzhou and she's just great. Not only is she my Chinese teacher but she is soooo helpful! For example she helped me deposit my salary in the bank, and she's going to help me take some clothes to the cleaners and she's helping Lyley and I get tickets for our trip next month. Also I really enjoy her classes. Chinese is not an easy language, mainly because it has 4 tones. Now I know a lot of foreigners here who have a descent vocabulary but don't care about using the correct tones, which in my mind is just dumb. That to me isn't knowing the language, its just being familiar with the words. So we've had 3 lessons so far ( we meet twice a week) and clearly it's still the beginning stages. Mainly we're working on the phonetics and tones. There are a few sounds that are new to me that I have to work on. We also will be learning the characters! I even have one of those children's books for when young kids are learning how to write and they just copy over the book. Can you imagine if I actually become fluent in Chinese? I mean I grew up in Texas I should be speaking Spanish....ehh what are ya gonna do? Actually the other day I was buying juice and a snack at one of the million convenient stores near me and I was soo thrilled when she told me the price and I knew without having to just put the money in my palm and let her take it! There is also this adorable old woman who sells water out of a very unsanitary looking cart right next to where I live who I always say hi to and I introduced myself to her finally! After 1 month of only said Ni hao. My goal is to be able to converse with her and join her and her old cute Chinese friends in a card game! in time though in time!

A few weeks back I had my first "traditional Chinese" sort of detoxifying experience. Its called "hot cupping" and basically what it is :" In this technique, a burning taper is held for a very short period of time inside the cup, before the cup is immediately placed down over the selected area. Because the taper flame exhausts all the oxygen in the cup, a vacuum is created; this anchors the cup to the skin and draws up the skin beneath the cup. The effect of this is to encourage the flow of Qi and Blood in the area beneath the cup. By this means, local stagnation begins to clear. " Yikes right??? I was so nervous, mainly because I have no tolerance for pain. So to begin the rub ya down with oil and give you a nice little massage. Than comes the pain, ok ok so it really wasn't soo awful but before the begin the hot cupping they basically scrape your back. i don't know what they used or why it was happening. It was the only painful part of the process. Then comes the cups!! When they're on it just feels as if though someone is pinching your back. You leave them on for maybe 10 minutes. It's all just very strange! After wards you are left with these purplish bruises all over you back that will stay there for a week or so. It was definitely an experience!

So during September I actually have 2 holidays. The first being Mid-Autumn Festival which is September 22ND. So during that time I will go to Shanghai for a few days via fast train ( another thing the amazing Sheryl is helping me with) I'll be couchsurfing which is something I have done several times and I am totally an advocate for. And not to worry I always give my mom the address of where I am and the name of who I'll be with. Then the week after that is National Day. My school gives us about 9 days for that holiday. Lyley also has a descent holiday at that time so we are going to Sanya. Which is in the very south of China. Its called the Hawaii of the East. We're basically going to stay in some shabby hostel and lay on the beach allll day! I am soo excited! We buy our tickets tomorrow hopefully so fingers crossed everything works out :)

Soo much love to everyone back home xoxo

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