Day 35 & 36 & 37: An Immortal Sword

Happy 50th Birthday, Dad!! This post would have been published yesterday, but I decided to wait one more day… So, by the time you see this, happy late birthday, I suppose…? I would write something here for you, but I already wrote you a gushy card, so I’ll spare you my blubbering a second time.

I’ll say right off the bat (what a strange phrase) that I’ve been grouping posts together for… a few reasons. First, I don’t think it’s fair to my parents/family/friends to write super short posts every night. I would rather have a lot to say and write it all in one go than stumble for words on a topic that I don’t really want to write about. Also, I only have 10 days left *super super heavy sigh*, so I want to soak in as much as possible. This often means getting to bed very late after fascinating conversations with Yuan Yuan, and waking up early to eat breakfast with my grandmother before she returns to her appartment. Plus, the initial culture shock is over, to be completely honest. For example, I remembered the other day that American bathrooms each have their own rolls of toilet paper inside… This seems weird to me now… Coming home should be lots of fun.

Anyway, with that, time to start rambling!

Monday night I went with some friends (and Yuan Yuan, of course) to a traditional Chinese opera. Now, I’ve been to LOTS of operas (my life practically is an opera, since my dad sings this style of music throughout the house… and everywhere he goes). But this was no ordinary opera.

It was about the Chinese civil war in the early 1900s, and a war hero of the Communist Party. She was killed at the age of 29 when she was captured and tortured. (This was all extremely funny to figure out, considering Yuan Yuan’s English skills have some holes and her translation app doesn’t work too well).

It’s very loud there. Again, I’m used to loud voices because of my dad’s singing. But this was LOUD. For a few minutes, I thought my ears were actually bleeding… they went numb.

Traditional instruments, crazy face-makeup and masks, long dresses and weird knee-socks, the whole nine yards (another interesting phrase).

So, there ya go, dad. I did that for you. Be proud of me.

What else…? Oh yes!

So, today, I really wanted a banana. I have no idea why. I just really wanted some potassium, I think, and a banana sounded fantastic.

Our cultural activity today was meeting with our peer partners again, so before they were supposed to arrive, I texted my partner Alice asking her to bring me a banana.

Now… I usually try to text in characters with my Chinese friends (the majority of the friends I text here are Chinese). But, I forgot how to say “can you bring me,” so I wrote that part in English, and then filled in “xiangjiao” in characters (banana).

But… typing characters on my Chinese phone is weird. The right characters don’t always pop up right away, and I also misspelled “xiangjiao”…

So, instead of writing 香蕉 (xiangjiao = banana), I accidentally typed in 仙剑 (xianjian).

Well… Um… “xianjian” roughly translates to “immortal sword”…

So, I asked my peer partner: “Hey, can you bring me an immortal sword?”


She thinks I’m insane now, but it’s all good ’cause she’s one of the sweetest people alive.

Anyway, yeah, so that was weird… I really messed up that one.

What else… OH!

So, my grandmother set this dish in front of me during dinner the other night. I didn’t know what it was, but it looked like a weird, pink, vegetable thing. So, I tried it. It was pretty good, honestly. A little crunchy, but really good.

For the past few days, I’ve been eating this mystery vegetable. My grandmother never attempted to explain to me what it was, and I never questioned it.

Well, yesterday, I was eating dinner with Yuan Yuan, and she found some of this food leftover in the fridge, so she put it out for us to eat.

Mid-chew, she leans over to me and asks “do you know what this is?”

I shake my head no, still chomping away on the crunchy food.

With the slightest twitch of her lip to show a spark of amusement, she reaches her hand up and gently taps my ear…

It’s pig ear. I was eating pig ear. Not a vegetable, pig ear.

So, yeah. Fun things still happen here.

I need to sleep. Big day and a big weekend ahead! Hope everyone had a great Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday!



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