Thursday, September 07, 2006

food and classes

I'm still doing alright here in Xianyang, but, as expected, the language barrier is pretty intimidating. I went out for lunch yesterday, but of course the menu was only in Chinese and no one there spoke English. I tried to order by pointing to dishes that others were having that looked good, but that wasn't working, and since I couldn't say "I'll have that" or anything else in Chinese, I just picked something at random from the menu to have. It turned out to be chicken (I think) with corn, green peppers, and ginger. It was pretty good, and I successfully asked for rice to go with it and more tea. For dinner I had some bread with fried pork in it (and cinnamon, at least that's what it tasted like) that I had had for breakfast on my first morning here with Pingde, the man from the Foreign Exchange Division who I talked to online to get this job. Ordering that was a bit easier since it was the only thing they were serving, and I successfully asked for two of them (I do know my numbers in Chinese, but am a bit shy about using them). We'll see how today goes. I was planning to go to the market this morning to buy some fruit, vegetables, eggs, and maybe some chicken so that I can make my own meals (at least breakfast - going out isn't expensive. My lunch yesterday, for example, cost just over a dollar and was quite good, but I don't like the idea of going out for every meal, mainly out of convenience. Also, Chinese people tend to eat in groups (as do most people), and order multiple dishes to share. I really like that when I'm in a group, but trying to eat alone is difficult because it seems strange that you would only want one dish, but of course I couldn't finish more than one on my own.). Anyway, as I was saying, I was going to go shopping today but it's been misting/raining all morning, so carrying lots of things doesn't sound like the best idea. Still, it's now lunch time so I think I have to go out and find something to put in my stomach. I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, classes: I spoke with one of the English teachers yesterday and she gave me my preliminary schedule. It looks like I'll be teaching two oral English classes on Tuesday afternoon and another two on Wednesday afternoon at the Xi'an campus of the university, which I'll have to take an hour-long bus ride to. The bus doesn't sound like fun, but I don't have much of a choice, and of course having to take it means I have less room in my day for classes, so it could mean less work for me. Also, it could afford an opportunity to practice Chinese, if I can make a friend on the bus. Those classes actually started this week, but since they just told me about the yesterday afternoon, there was no way I could make it to them. I should be getting the textbook sometime today or tomorrow, which would give me plenty of time to prepare. Even if I don't, the first class should be pretty easy, since I'm sure they'll have lots of questions for me, and I'll have plenty for them too.

Now I'm getting hungry so I'm going to head out into the wet world in hopes of finding sustenance.

1 comment:

Gammie said...

You're a brave soul...what an adventure!