Nĭmen hăo! Nĭmen zĕnmeyàng? Hĕn hăo! Wŏ yé hĕn hăo, xīngfèn, háiyŏu lèi.
(having exhausted my immediate conversational skills in Mandarin, let's try this again in something I am actually fluent in)
Hello Oliners! And Gappies and anyone else who may read this! Kaitlyn checking in again, and this time from China!
I've been here in Chengdu for about six weeks, learning Mandarin at Brilliance Learning Center, shopping in the local markets, chatting in English Corners, and telling stories to a seven year old. I even managed to get a student of my own, so once a week I'm an informal English teacher. In KFC. Did you guys know that KFC is a big thing here? I did not know that. I do not understand that. Surely there is a better thing to become popular than KFC and McDonalds? Sorry, fried chicken fans. (Starbucks is staring at me and daring me to add it to the other two; alas that I cannot remain unbiased in the face of sweet-coffee-drink fondness).
Anyway. Um. Before I got here would be boring to tell about. Pretty much lots of working. So skipping that to More Interesting Things... Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province. I'm in an apartment with four women, most of whom are friends of a friend. Almost all of my time has been in this city. There are really neat places here, from local side streets where you can get foods like this...
To some places that are popular for Chinese tourists like Jin Li and Kuan Zhai Xiangzi...
To just the fact that all the apartment compounds have tons of trees? I did not expect this city to have this many trees, it's great.
I did manage to get out of the city once, to a couple of villages and Wenchuan, which was the origin of the 2008 earthquake.
And most recently, I got to go to the Da Xiong Mao Ji Di, which is a panda breeding and conservation area.
And that brings us to about now! Lots more has been going on, of course, but while I want to write a novel, I don't what this to be my novel, so I'll let you go after a brief 'what next?' I'm headed home on May 13th, then I'll be back to daily life, seeing all my friends returning for summer, and roadtripping across to join all of you! So, until then...
Have a great summer, all. Learn lots, do lots, rest lots, and I look forward to meeting you come fall. Zàijiàn!