March & April in Changzhou

As I mentioned in a previous post, this school term we’ve been having culture classes every afternoon at a different school.

Chinese Paintings

Chinese Paintings

We’ve learned kung fu, paper cutting, Chinese paintings, various arts like wood burning, Chinese knots, and calligraphy, and even cooking. It’s been interesting to learn about the cultural aspects of China, especially since Chinese culture is pretty distinct and traditional. I feel lucky that our city has this opportunity. It seems to me that it would be a shame to be in China for a year without learning about the culture. Even though I’m no pro at art and all that, it’s still cool to try it. And our culture class teachers are all so good at what they do. It’s pretty impressive. Usually our culture classes are from 1:30-3:30, then we go back to our own school for afternoon lessons.

We’ve also attended a couple of the Changzhou government’s “foreigner/expat events”. They organized an outing to Tai Hu, a big lake in the region. The lake borders both Changzhou and Suzhou. While there, we hiked along a mountain, had a big buffet lunch, and visited the lake and some nearby tea fields. I’m actually obsessed with tea, so I was especially excited for the tea field excursion. We were also invited to tour Changzhou’s Modern Media Tower, the tallest building in the city and the home of the Changzhou TV & radio stations. I’d never been in a TV or radio station before, so I thought it was really cool experience. We got to meet the news anchor, try out reading off of a teleprompter, and see live radio broadcasting. The top floor also had a awesome view of the city. For attending, the CZ government gave us all giftcards to a really nice health club, where we’ll be able to get free massages, a month long membership, and even free personal training. I’m honestly really excited to check out this health club. A plus of being a foreigner in a small city like Changzhou is definitely all the perks we receive!

Spring is officially here, so the weather is actually hot and it feels so good. It’s nice to just sit outside.

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Spring trips to Hongmei Park

I’ve also discovered a new bakery called Wheat, which I proclaim to be the best bakery in Changzhou. The bread there is amazingly good & without as much butter and “white fluff” like a lot of Chinese breads. My host family recently has been encouraging me to invite friends over to our house, so the other week, some of my friends came and we cooked an Italian lunch, which was really good. We went grocery shopping and prepared all the food. I’d missed cooking & even cleaning. My host family is so insistent that I never clean anything by myself, not even take my dishes to the sink after eating. That was weird getting used to, since at home I was always supposed to play my part in cleaning the house, but my host family is just very nice and hospitable!

In other news, we signed up to take the HSK in Nanjing! With all the help from Li Laoshi, I feel confident we’ll all pass. And it’ll be nice to have the big test pressure out of the way!!

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