Year 2: Semester 1 Week 9

Hey all,

This week was so crazy! Between a Chinese midterm on Wednesday, a Chinese skit on Thursday, an Interaction Lab project/presentation due Thursday, and an important Probability and Statistics exam Friday, along with regular levels of homework and commitments, I pretty much spent the entire week trying to get time-consuming schoolwork done. At least I have good memories of trying not to laugh while practicing my lines for the Chinese skit. Thank goodness for music and friends to make life easier. The time I have here in Shanghai is going by so fast.

Shoutout to my dad who is running a 100-mile race this weekend! Completing 100 miles in about 24 hours seems like a superhuman, impossibly difficult task, and I'm thankful to him for showing me that just about anything is achievable through hard work and physical/mental stamina. I'm so lucky to have this incredible role model. I've been tracking his race online here and it looks like so far so good. I'll update this post later, once I hear whether he has finished.

Update: He has finished successfully!

During my lunch break one day, I randomly decided to go for a short walk and clear my mind from exam-related stress. I chose a direction I hadn't really been before and ended up at this pond area with a park! It was quite crowded with people eating lunch there and even napping in the grass, so it wasn't as peaceful as the pictures maybe make it look, but I can't believe I spent this long not knowing that this place was so close to the campus building.

Paths lined with bamboo

This weekend, I spent most of the time catching up on normal life things that I hadn't had time to take care of during the crazy midterms week. I went grocery shopping (i.e. real grocery shopping and meal planning, not just buying college student snack food). I did some cooking, so that I have meal options in the fridge for the week. I also got a haircut at a salon near my apartment, which was interesting because it was my first time having a haircut from someone who didn't speak English. Thankfully, the manager in charge of the salon spoke English, and she asked me what I wanted, then translated everything to the guy cutting my hair. I was a little bit worried about not being able to communicate clearly, but the manager was super helpful and the guy cutting my hair seemed to know what he was doing, so I was happy enough to just let him do whatever he wanted to do.

Obligatory post-haircut photo (selfies are not my strong suit, my apologies)
I am always so touched by the moments when people go out of their way to help foreigners get by... little helpful things go a long way.

One of my friends wanted to get some gifts/souvenirs, so we went shopping for those too, which turned into more riding bikes around the city. Once again, I was too focused on the bike ride to think much about taking pictures, but I think that's probably a good thing.

I found this billboard of a guy who is way too serious about soap,
 and I find it way funnier than I probably should
People's Square
Historic architecture

Beautiful embroidery
Shanghai Library

Souvenir stands

With a follow-up to last week's green eggs, yesterday while grocery shopping I learned that black chickens are also a thing.

Apologies for the gross-looking photo... see the top right/center area,
 where there are 2 black chickens blending in

Finally, here are the latest additions to my "interesting English of China" collection: (Disclaimer: my intention is never to offend or belittle anyone's language ability... this is simply my way of staying sane in a place where I've made plenty of embarrassing mistakes in Chinese)

On a sweater: "Feeling good good. Creeping up on you." What?
The cutest mini-stapler ever! With a "hearty animal friend" on it!
 It's hard to read but says, "For work or life, always can feel free and happy though writing." True.
"Get back to your sixteen" - advertising an antioxidant smoothie

Why we need feminism... *ouch*
Anyway, hope you have a great week! 

Love from Shanghai,