Day 4 - Monday June 2, 2008
This morning I went with Michael to his class (with 45 students) and actually learned something about web-design.
But I’m not sure how much the students learned because I was sitting at the back and could see what the 8 students in the last row were doing. One was sleeping with his head on the desk, one was playing solitaire, one was looking at cars, one was looking at seductively dressed girlie pictures, the only girl at the back was looking at purses and clothing, another fellow was watching youtube videos and showing his friends beside him, they were chuckling. I guess what Michael was saying was all Greek to them.
In the afternoon we went to a shopping mall with Chunhong.
She is a very intelligent woman, 30 something, who works in the International Department and who speaks excellent English (she has a 3 yr old child named Gua Gua). Since I only had the clothes I was wearing, I needed to buy something and Chunhong spent a lot of time with me as I tried on a lot of clothing.
Unfortunately this was easier said than done because although I can choose size medium or 10 in Canada, I found myself only fitting in tops that are size XXL. That day all I found was a dress that was a little tight; it was size XL, but I got it for about 10 dollars so it would do for a bit.
The change room was a sheet hung up by a string across the back corner and women just walked in when they wanted to try something on. I was waiting and waiting to get in and other women just kept on going in before me. Finally I got it that they go in 2 or 3 at a time (that’s all there was space for) and they'd just start taking their clothes off and trying on new clothes. Ok, it didn’t take me long to get the hang of it.
What was really surprising though, were the shoes I found. I picked out a pair, asked for size 39, they fit me, I bought them, 2 minutes - no problem! They were a little less than 10 dollars. Not only that, I have been wearing them for the last three days and my feet don’t hurt at all!!
That night Michael and I went out to eat with two students: Snow and Cat. Snow is very tall and thin, plays basketball and he says he eats for two people - true. Cat is short and his face is reminiscent of a cat’s face; he said that’s why he chose the name. Cat says the girls like Snow because he’s tall, but says he thinks the girls don’t like him because he’s short. Both were very friendly and they took us out for dumplings - a very traditional Chinese food they said.
So, we took a taxi to some unfamiliar city street (that's most streets for me) and went into a seemingly run down very small, open stall. They bought two steamed baskets of dumplings, but - walked out of the shop with the pot (what what what?). We walked down the street about 10 stalls farther and went into another small stall that had about 5 tables with benches in it - most tables were filled with people. We found the only free space, sat down and the guys put the dumplings on the table and ordered more food.
Apparently this was another stall-food type shop, which served different food. The guys ordered fruit conge, some pizza crust with pickled vegetable bits and another fruit soup type of food. It was all delicious - I loved the conge, Michael didn’t - sweet stuff is not his thing. When we were done, Cat returned the baskets to the original stall and we took a taxi back to the hotel. They guys went home to their dorm at school.