Hello and Welcome

As I am currently away from home for study, and as Skype has proven to be rather problematic in terms of time zones, I have decided to start a blog in an attempt to keep in touch with family and friends back in Canada.

November 26, 2011

American Thanksgiving

November 24th was American Thanksgiving, and in China they don't really know that Canadian thanksgiving and American thanksgiving aren't the same thing, or the same day.

On the 24th one of the Chinese DDP members sent us all a text wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving, and ended up sending an apology text when one of my classmates him sent a reply text asking why it was October again...

Anyways, on the 25th, I was about to buy some dinner on my way back from tutoring, when I recieved a text from my boss asking if I would like to come to a thanksgiving dinner since one of her friends had to cancel, I thought it would be fun so I accepted.

It was at a Mexican restuarant I had never been to before, and I thought I would be able to walk there in time. I couldn't. I ended up taking a really old bus, and the sound tract that announced what stop we were at was really staticy and I was not able to keep track of what stop we were at. I had planned on counting the stops instead, but I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention and miscounted. I was beginning to feel a little nervous when I saw that we passed the street that the restuarant was on, so luckily I was able to get off at the next stop and walk back to the restuarant.

We had a large table on the second floor, and Maggie introduced me to some of the other people there and so I was able to chat with and get to know them. Apparently she is very outgoing and enjoys organizing get-to-gethers with friends and colleagues, and that's what the dinner was for.

It was a lot of fun, and it was quite funny when the played truth-or-dare at the end of the dinner.

On the way back to the campus I took a cab with another attendee that also lives at Yuquan Campus, as I was going back into my building, I suddenly realized I didn't have my phone. I was worried that I had left it in the restuarant, but we called Maggie asking about it and it wasn't there. The only other place would be the cab.

Luckily, we had the receipt from the cab ride, but the line was busy, so I took it and went back to my room to continue to try to phone them. After a while I managed to get through, but it was the wrong line, and they gave me a new number. So I called it. Luckily, the line was not nearly as busy and I managed to get through and tell them happened. But, I had a difficult time understanding the girl on the other end as she spoke quickly, I ended up saying that I didn't understand a lot, and eventually she started laughing and hung up. A while later though, she called back and said that they had found my phone, and that I would have to come get it from their office, but I didn't know where it was, and they ended up hanging up again.

Maggie said that if I needed to I could borrow her old phone until I bought a new one, and a friend told me that I would be able to use my old number if I went back to the store I bought my sim card in and told them I lost it. So, I was more worried about the contacts and numbers that I had stored on it.

They ended up calling the taxi that I was in, and the driver called me. He said that he would be driving back to where he had dropped me off and to meet him there quickly. I ran down to the front of the campus and went up to the first cab I saw. Wrong one, oops. I waited by the gate for a while, and eventually a cab driver came up and seemed to be looking around for someone, so I went up to him. He had my phone.

He said I would habe to call it first though to prove that it really was mine, luckily I had taken Aly-Shah's phone with me in my rush to get to the curb so I used it to call my phone. But, I accidently dailing my old number, and then a wrong number. So, the cab driver asked me why I didn't know my own phone number. Finally, I dailing the right number and so I got my phone back. =) I'm glad that the taxi company was able to help me, and that the taxi driver was so nice. It could have all ended very differently, and I'm thankful that it didn't. =)

November 23, 2011

ShaoXing and Two Random Pictures

This is My Class Schedule for Chinese Classes

I nice building in ZJU.

Some pictures from the trip to the city south of Hangzhou. (Shaoxing)

Nancy and I left early in the morning to catch the train to Shaoxing, luckily we were able to get an earlier train and ended up arriving in the city more than an hour earlier than planned. From there we went to LuXun's former residence and school. It was very crowded there, and the streets were full of people and shops. We saw the 100 plant garden, which I thought was kinda funny since it just looked like a big plot of weeds to me, but it was apparently were Luxun enjoyed spending a lot of time. I also was able to learn a bit about China's Educational system, which was very interesting.

Afterwards, we went for luch, the food was really good at the restuarant, although it was quite expensive! We ordered a lot of food, and although we intended to get some spicy dishes, they were not particularily spicy. We were going to go see one of the mountians in the area, but the waitress said that the mountian was really boring, so we ended up calling one of Nancy's friends, who was from Shaoxing, and she told us about a nice place to go.

We went to DaYue's buruial grounds. It was a beautiful mountian by a lake, and at the very top of the mountian was a monument to him. From the top we could see the city, although the view was rather obscured by the treesjust underneath the ledge.

I had a lot of fun on the trip, on the way back we had sushi before heading back to Hangzhou. We missed the last train, but managed to get one to in a further area of Hangzhou and from there we took a bus back, and then a taxi from there. We were rather tired by the end, but I'm glad I went. =)

I Can Access Internet Again!

Hello, I haven't been able to update for quite a while since the proxy I had been using stopped working. I tried a few others, but they tended to die or want money... But, now I found a way to get online again, yay!

Anyways, a lot has happened since my last update... at the beginning of the term it seems.

In terms of schooling:

Since then, I have had my midterms, overall I did acceptably, oddly my highest mark was in 口语 (Speaking class) which was very unexpected on my part, but a nice surprise.

My DDP classmates and I have started another Chinese class we attend with the cohort before us in which we learn technical terms for math and such. So far we have only had one class, and we have to learn a lot of vocab each week for it, so it will be interesting.

In C programming class we only have one class a week, which it quite painful as I feel it would be better to have more. We finally got our first assignment though, after wondering why we didn't have any for months, and it doesn't seem /too/ bad. That being said, I think it will take a lot of time to complete so I should probably start it soon...

I am also enjoying the Chinese painting course I took, although it is not for marks, and it has been interesting to learn the different painting style. I bought far too much paper as it turns out though, but at least I can practice a lot?

In terms of work:

I found a couple of jobs! (Yay!)

The first one I teach every second Wednesday to a company. I teach them pronounciation mostly, and I think it's going fairly well. Originally it was every week, but their old tutor came back so now we are spliting the classes.

The second one is every Friday, in which I teach an eight year old boy basic English. His mother attends with him to help and learn as well. Last week another Mother and daughter came as well. I don't know if they well be coming every week, but it will be interesting to find out.

In terms of travel:

I went on a trip with a Chinese friend to a city just south of Hangzhou about a month(?) ago. It was a lot of fun and I was able to take a lot of pictures and see a lot of new places. We wanted to find a restaurant with spicy food, but when we went looking, neither of us really knew the area and we ended up going to one of the first places we sae instead.

After mid-terms there was a trip to Thousand Isle by our class, but I ended up not being able to go since I had already planned to work on the day. I have pictures, but hopefully there will be another trip at the end of term.


Well, I lot of stuff has happened, mostly invlolving getting to know the Chinese members of the DDP program and such. We had a Halloween get together, and it was interesting to see how they tried to adapt it.


I think that's an adequate enough update for now.

Anyways, on November 29th we (the Canadian DDP students) are going to the main campus for a 'Canadian Day' event since there are not a lot of Canadian students at the school and Xiang 老师 wants us to help represent. Also attending will be the Canadian Consolute General, and some other Canadian ministers. There will also be a buffet, for which we want to push back the time of out C progamming class in order to attend fully. I except the food will be pretty good...

Last week I was sick and had to miss most of the school week, during which time we were assigned a presentation to give to the class about an experiance we had making a purchase in China. Unfortuneatly, the details of the assignment were miscommunicated to me and I ended up prepared a speach about Canadian Specialties. When the time came to present I ended up having to make something up, all things considered it wasn't too bad though. Shorter than it should have been though.

I have also taken quite a few pictures now so I will post them with captions in a bit. =)