Alright, grandma, you got me. I’m starting to agree.
Hello again! I hope you all had lovely weekends! I’ve been grouping together posts recently because I’m kind of over the initial culture shock of the trip; so there are less big moments, if you will.
I’ll just do a quick run down on the weekend in a few sentences and then go into detail about a few things. Yesterday, a few of my friends gathered for dinner and watched Deadpool, then taxied home (can that be a verb? It’s a verb now). Then today, our RD stopped by for a quick house visit, I thought I was getting a migraine, and then we played a Chinese card game.
Okay, so dinner last night was a lot of fun. I feel rather self conscious writing about this considering most of the people that were there also read this blog… So, hey guys!
Anyway, yes we watched Deadpool and a few minutes of a Beyonce concert while we commented on feminism, Chinese tea pets and how the heck does Beyonce run across the stage in heels??? We decided the answer was “because she’s Beyonce.”
If you’ve seen Deadpool, you know there are some… *clears throat uncomfortably* innuendos. Yes, let’s stick with that word. I like that word. Well, my friend’s young host sibling and his mother were in the room while we were watching… So we had to skip around a bit (sorry, Mendel). Anyway, the kid was so immersed in his game that his eyes never flicked up once. Great kid.
The house visit was fairly uneventful. Just instead of only one, there were now two Americans refusing my grandmother’s food. My host family said they enjoy having me and I believe they said something about me smiling a lot…? All good things. I had my RD explain that I loved all of the food they’ve prepared for me, even if I don’t eat as much as they would like me to.
The air quality today was very very poor. I usually judge the pollution based on the number of buildings I can count on the horizon through my window… I couldn’t see across the street today. When I sat in my room to call family, I started gagging. I had the door shut for privacy, but my room doesn’t have ventilation (except for my demon fan), so the air was soiled and stale and still.
It’s also over 100. It is freaking hot. I’ve sat in front of the fan all day, except for during my 2 hour nap, when I fell onto my bed, which is out of the AC’s reach. When I woke, I realized that my grandmother had shut off the air conditioning that had been cooling down the entire apartment… we were now in a sauna. Well, no, just me, actually, because she left while I was asleep.
So, I cranked up the cool and collapsed on the couch (I love alliteration, if you couldn’t tell).
Well, a horrible headache dragged me through the next few hours. I soon realized that it was due to the air conditioning- the stiff, chilly air was too crisp. Nausea, dizziness, all that fun stuff. Reluctantly, but convinced it was the root of the problem, I shut the air off and baked in the heat to rid myself of the pounding pain.
It’s pouring right now. Like, really pouring. And there’s lighting about every 3 seconds with bursts of thunder that sound like boulders tumbling down a mountain’s edge and into an ocean. It’s brilliant. But, because of the pollution, you can’t see the individual streaks of lighting. Instead of little spears of light splintering through the clouds, the entire sky glows and flickers like a weak flame in a lantern.
“Are you scared?” my grandmother asked me, reaching across the dinner table in an effort to comfort me.
“Oh, no. 好听,” I said. “I love it. It’s music to my ears.”
Speaking of music, my grandmother was watching this weird program today where a bunch of people came on the show to recite tales of their depressing lives to the soundtrack from Inception. I was really confused. Oh, and there was a Chinese drama that had the theme from Beauty and the Best playing in the background. WHAT?!?! THE MOVIE I’M WATCHING THIS INSTANT IS PLAYING THE SUPER SAD SONG FROM LOST! Get your own music!
Anyway, I noticed my grandparents playing a game earlier with Chinese characters on the cards. My dad set out the cards to let me see. 1-10 in simplified Chinese characters, and then 1-10 in traditional characters.There’s 4 of each kind. There are also some dragon cards thrown in there but he didn’t tell me about those. He told me to memorize them, and then we would play.
So, in a few minutes, I memorized which characters were which numbers, and then his mother stepped in. She was going to teach me.
Basically, I learned how to play a Chinese card game with only characters and listening to Mandarin. Oh, and then she called in her husband and son to play with me.
So there I am, having learned this game about 5 minutes ago (and this is not a simple game), playing with cards that had numbers in a different language, and playing against non-English-speaking opponents.
I won. 4 times, actually. Now, I didn’t win at first, and I seemed like a complete idiot, but I started getting better. A few times I threw down the wrong character for a card, but I got the hang of it. They let me play slowly and sometimes they helped. At first I was worried they were being easy on me, but then I started winning and they picked up their games.
What I still don’t understand, is that it’s a strategy and luck game, but sometimes they will just show each other their hand of cards to make a joke, and then casually resume the game… Maybe Americans are just way too competitive, but I was almost reluctant to start showing them my cards. Oh well, it was fun. I don’t think I could explain it to anyone though… Maybe in Mandarin…?
After dinner, my dad turned on an old tennis match between S. Williams and Muguruza. “Serena is very fat,” he said. I was a little shocked when he said this, because Williams is not fat by any means. Muscular, heck yes, but fat? No no no. She could knock you out for two days by flicking your forehead. Anyway, I’m just going to assume that his language skills faltered.
Anyway, great weekend. Yuan Yuan should be home tomorrow!!! Hope you’re all well.