星期七的话题：总的来说… (Summing It All Up)
I am posting this on Emily’s behalf, and WordPress is currently blocked in China. – Kelly Kesinger, UW Study Abroad
With my roommate’s and my suitcases packed beside our beds, and my flight back to Seattle taking off tomorrow morning, the reality that the two months here are really over is at last settling in. We’ve spent the last week taking finals, going to our favorite places for “one last time,” and saying goodbye. I have been so completely focused on class and projects for the past few weeks that it was actually a little startling to be suddenly free from it all. I am looking forward to being at home for the next few weeks, enjoying a hard-earned break.
Here’s some final Q&A about the trip as a whole:
Your favorite photograph: This is probably a tie between snapshots of friends, some really gorgeous good fortune ornaments at the historical tourist street called Jingli, and some candid photos of everyday Chinese people.
Your favorite souvenir: My Chinese tutor lent me one of her books to read, and when I couldn’t find a copy of my own to buy, she gave me hers. She also wrote a really nice note in the front, and she has beautiful handwriting. The book is called “Under the Hawthorne Tree.” The movie based on the book is directed by Zhang Yimou and also great.
Your most unusual souvenir: My x-ray! I thought that I had sprained my finger a few weeks before the trip, but it wasn’t improving and so I went to the doctor here. I really enjoyed the experience of talking with the Chinese nurses and x-ray technician, and I went to the biggest hospital in Sichuan Province. It was almost worth breaking a finger for! The x-ray results showed that a break was the real problem – oops. Thankfully it doesn’t hurt at all and I plan on dealing with it when I get back to the States.
The souvenir your most excited to share with friends and family: Spicy, numbing peanuts. I bought a few bags because the have the authentic Sichuan spicy, numbing flavor, with real Sichuan peppercorn. This is one flavor you can’t just describe.
One thing you wish you could take home: It has been so fun to be with a group of people who all are interested in and studying Chinese. It is so rare to meet this kind of person back in the U.S. that it has been very unique and fun to have so many of us all in one place.
Most interesting conversation with a Chinese person: One time, a friend and I were riding in a rickshaw, and the driver was asking us about our classes here. He asked if we studied Chinese history, and we told him we had memorized some Confucius. We then recited Confucius quotes back and forth with him, it was a so great.
One interesting new Chinese vocab you learned: There was one word, part of an ancient Chinese fable, that I learned that I particularly liked that I feel also has to do with study abroad. The word is 井蛙 jingwa, which means “well frog,” and the story is from the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. A sea turtle tries to tell a frog about how great the sea is, but the frog has never left his well and doesn’t think anything could be better. The story is about having a very narrow perspective, and one of the goals of study abroad is to broaden your outlook on the world.
Thank you all for reading my blog each week! I hope that, given the opportunity, you might all travel to China. Living and studying in China has truly broadened my perspective. I hope that my blog has shared my experiences, and also encouraged you to visit China in