After a full on holiday, I finally got time to 休息 before going straight back into classes and studying for our upcoming midterms. It was also quite a shock coming back to much colder weather, and now not being able to wear shorts and t shirts.
Braving the cold weather!
The first few days back were filled with discussions about where we'd all been on our holidays, and then getting back into doing our work.
On top of going back to normal classes, the first 星期日back, we had to go to class in the morning, which was weird to only have one day of the weekend. But we did have to make up what classes we’d missed during the holiday.
I did have an exciting day ahead however, along with my roommate Erin, Maia and Scottie. We were going to a family ceilidh in 北京. It was organised by the Scottish Beijing society, so we went dressed in tartan, ready for food, drink and dancing. We were not disappointed by what we came to. It was a refreshing feeling to hear so many Scottish accents after only being surrounded by a few during my time here, it was also a great experience to meet other Scots or people who had previously been to 苏格兰, being able to share stories of home really made it special. We even met people who had mutual connections, which was quite weird, it just shows how small a world this is! This Scottish filled day got even better when the food came, it was all you can eat and we definitely did just that. There was such a variety that it was hard to choose. What made the day even better was going to watch the Scotland V Japan game in an Irish bar in 北京, before our train back home, there were even a few times where I forgot I wasn’t in 苏格兰 as there were so many European accents around me. So far, that has been one of my favourite days in 中国. Although we were halfway across the world from our homes in 苏格兰, it didn’t feel like we were far away at all.
Only some of the food we got
Us with the dance instructor Summer
Making new friends here has been great fun. I have been getting to know so many people around the world, finding out so many new and interesting things about them and their culture.
I have been going to help at English Oral classes at 南开大学, I speak English to a classroom of Asian students, who all speak fluent Chinese and all of them speaking very good English. I go every 星期一 along with Henry, Amy and one of last year's scholars Kayleigh. I really enjoy going every week and I’ve made really great friends through this. We even go for tea every 星期一 after class where we get the chance to speak about things outside of class. We call this “happy Mondays”
Our first class!
Tea at Nankai, with Betty, one of my friends from the class
As well as this class, I have been going to calligraphy classes on 星期二, which I find a great way to unwind and relax after class but still getting some Chinese culture in while doing so. I may not be the best but I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s also helping me improve my character writing which is super for in class work as well.
Some of our first classes
After a few weeks back in class, Halloween was a fun way to get together and have a good laugh all together. It was one of the first events where not being in 苏格兰 would be strange for a majority of us, although we definitely made the most of being in a different country surrounded by tonnes of other foreign students. So a few of the other scholars organised a Halloween party for the other students to come too. There was pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples and the mummy game. Everyone dressed up which made it even better. Maia, Erin and I went as Kung Fu Panda (I definitely think we had the best costumes- even though we made them 30 minutes before) and as Monster’s Inc for the next night.
Aside from that, my month has been fairly normal- of course living in 中国 might not seem like that, but now it is. Going to classes, studying, and trying new foods are all a part of it.
Something new I tried this month, spicy rice noodles
Until next time,
休息- Xiūxí- rest
星期日- Xīngqírì- Sunday
北京- Běijīng- Beijing
苏格兰- Sūgélán- Scotland
南开大学- Nánkāi dàxué- Nankai University
星期一- Xīngqí yī- Monday
星期二- Xīngqí'èr- Tuesday