水果 - 菠萝

Since arriving in Xi’an I’ve craved more and more fruit. You see it everywhere, walking to class, down the street, and even to friend’s houses. Every so often I will go out and indulge on a large quantity of fruit. Most often I will buy a bunch of bananas, or some oranges and keep them in the room. But one thing you can get anywhere is 菠萝(bo luo). 菠萝 is pineapple and you can either get 1/5 of a pineapple on a stick, or a whole pineapple depending on where you go. Since I had an urge to indulge one day, I bought a whole precut pineapple. Knowing how messy it would be I ended up eating it in the bathroom over the sink. Strange as that may be, it was both successful and delicious. Best part about pineapples here is you can buy them for less than $2.00.IMG_4244

汉堡包-美国式

Hamburgers you find in China are far from what you can find in America. I’ve had various different kinds and more often than not been dissatisfied with the experience. But the other day I was invited to go out to eat with some friends at an American restaurant called Grandma’s Kitchen. The first thing I notice about this place is that the servers speak english to you. It was very strange walking ten minutes from my dorm to find a place where english is spoken. After a look at their menu I knew this place was legit. They not only had burgers that seemed like what you’d find in a real burger restaurant, but they also had mexican. I was tempted by both, but ended up going with the Montana BBQ burger, and it didn’t disappoint. The burger came with pickles,onions, lettuce, tomato,cheese,and fries. It was as genuine as a burger as i’ll ever find in China, and it was delicious. The BBQ sauce they put on it tasted like something you’d find in an American burger place. I devoured this burger with the biggest smile on my face. It’s good to have a taste of America whenever I’m feeling homesick!

 

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小笼包

Recently, i’ve discovered that the school cafeteria has very delicious food. I add money to my student card, then use the student card as a quick payment method. The cafeteria has a wide variety of dishes ranging from, rice, soup, dumplings, vegetables, and pastries. It’s only the tip of the iceberg with what i’ve tried at that cafeteria, but one dish I found that I was shocked to see what 小笼包(xiao long bao). When I was in Shanghai, I took chinese courses. Our textbook had a chapter that talked about 小笼包. It went into great detail around the history and making of these dumplings. So I decided to try a few, and they did not disappoint. One thing I’ve noticed while I’ve been here, is that the cafeteria food is actually much better quality than food you get from actual restaurants on the street, and much more cost efficient too.
12 小笼包 = 4 元 or about $.85

翻译

Over the past two weeks, after talking with my girlfriend and my roommate about my current situation I had an epiphany. I was getting a little distraught about how the progress of my Chinese was going. I felt like it was going slower than others around me, and I wondered why. But then I was told, it’s because of all the self studying I was doing. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had the balance that I needed, both studying from the textbooks as well as speaking to the people around me. For the first two months I was here, it was all studying and no speaking. The reason for this is I found it “easier” which was the biggest hurdle I needed to get over to begin really improving my Chinese. So, thanks to Esthefany and Mike, I was able to really see what I needed to start doing, talking with other Chinese people. I thought why not talk to the Chinese people I see everyday, the front desk ladies. Ever since that moment I’ve been talking with them often and my Chinese is progressing very quickly. So much so, that I will hold conversations that are beyond the “how’s the weather today?” and “how are you today?”. I began talking about everyday topics and issues. The best part of this, is I am getting corrected often. I can ask them, “did I just say that right?”, and they will be able to correct me.
Two days ago I was at the front desk talking with one of the girls at the front desk and an old man walks over. He had his suitcase and backpack on looking exhausted around 2 pm. Normally, I don’t take notice to the guests who come along, but I could tell this guy didn’t know how to say what he wanted to say in Chinese. Since the front desk ladies speak next to no English, this could have been a problem. I look over at him and ask him, Can I help you with anything? He was grateful, I was able to check him in and get his internet set up within his room. I realize that my Chinese is getting to the point where I can help others. I told him that I understand what its like to not know how to say what you want say.
That event got me thinking, that my Chinese is actually progressing and it makes all the hard work worth it when you can see you really have progressed. When I was in Shanghai, I had to ask others to help me how to say things, even simple things, but now it looks like I’ve finally reached a new level with my speaking.

种族歧视

Not everything has been positive being a foreigner in China. I’ve found it can actually be a hindrance to look the way you do. A few friends and I decided to go to an electronics market known as 赛格(saige). This market is vast and has nearly every electronic available. You want into this building and it’s almost as if you stepped into the future. However, this blog post is focused on what happened next. My friends and I were running late so we wanted to grab a cab and head back to our dorms. So we stand along a busy intersection trying to hail a cab. We see plenty of the cabs pass by having customers in the back. But eventually we started seeing empty cabs pass by. We thought to ourselves maybe they were at the end of their shift. But we saw more than a few pass us by and no more than 20 meters down the road pick up someone of Asian decent. After 30 minutes of waiting, we realized what was going on, they were racist towards foreigners. We realized we weren’t going to get a cab and just took the bus. This is the first time in my life I’ve been a minority where I went, and unfortunately I was discriminated against. The worst part of this whole situation was I had things to do and waiting a half hour for a cab wasn’t on my list of things to do. I’ve talked with other foreigners I’ve met and they all have experienced the same thing. I’ve also learned a few ways to get around the system. First, if you travel with someone who either is of Asian decent or looks Asian, then you allow them first to hail the cab and then you come out from wherever you were hiding and get in. You immediately see the frustration in the cab driver’s eyes. Another way that I learned from a Chinese friend of mine was to carry around a small backpack that has wheels and a handle and prop that out on the sidewalk. You won’t have to wait more than a minute or two for a cab to stop for you. Much to their surprise, you won’t be going to the airport, but your preferred destination. It’s unfortunate that I need to stoop to hiding or misleading a cab driver just to get picked up, but I’m here to build relations between the two countries by doing my part and learning the language. If only they didn’t group all foreigners together  and let a few bad apples ruin the bunch.

种族歧视

Not everything has been positive being a foreigner in China. I’ve found it can actually be a hindrance to look the way you do. A few friends and I decided to go to a electronics market known as 赛格(saige). This market is vast and has nearly every electronic available. You want into this building and it’s almost as if you stepped into the future. However, this blog post is focused on what happened next. My friends and I were running late so we wanted to grab a cab and head back to our dorms. So we stand along a busy intersection trying to hail a cab. We see plenty of the cabs pass by having customers in the back. But eventually we started seeing empty cabs pass by. We thought to ourselves maybe they were at the end of their shift. But we saw more than a few pass us by and no more than 20 meters down the road pick up someone of Asian decent. After 30 minutes of waiting, we realized what was going on, they were racist towards foreigners. We realized we weren’t going to get a cab and just took the bus. This is the first time in my life I’ve been a minority where I went, and unfortunately I was discriminated against. The worst part of this whole situation was I had things to do and waiting a half hour for a cab wasn’t on my list of things to do. I’ve talked with other foreigners I’ve met and they all have experienced the same thing. I’ve also learned a few ways to get around the system. First, if you travel with someone who either is of Asian decent or looks Asian, then you allow them first to hail the cab and then you come out from wherever you were hiding and get in. You immediately see the frustration in the cab driver’s eyes. Another way that I learned from a Chinese friend of mine was to carry around a small backpack that has wheels and a handle and prop that out on the sidewalk. You won’t have to wait more than a minute or two for a cab to stop for you. Much to their surprise, you won’t be going to the airport, but your preferred destination. It’s unfortunate that I need to stoop to hiding or misleading a cab driver just to get picked up, but I’m here to build relations between the two countries by doing my part and learning the language. If only they didn’t group all foreigners together  and let a few bad apples ruin the bunch.

雕刻时光咖啡馆

Sculpting%20in%20Time        Early%20Bird%20Special

Sunday morning comes around and you are in the mood for an American breakfast? Sorry to tell you, China doesn’t have such places, oh wait! This is Sculpting In Time Cafe, a modern cafe with a western feel, along with a relaxing atmosphere. Every Sunday, they have an early bird special until 11 am. For just 15 元(About $2.50) You can get two eggs, salad, either white bread, whole grain bread, or croissant, as well as your choice of bacon or ham, and a cup of coffee or orange juice. Upon arrival of this dish, one is instantly taken back to the groggy mornings that is Sunday with a large list of things to do, however, the day seemed that much easier when you started it right. The same is true for us Fulbrighters. Our Sundays are generally filled with loads of work for the coming week of classes as well as laundry and groceries. So thankfully, Sculpting In Time Cafe allows us to start the day off right, for just $2.50, talk about the early bird getting the worm!