It's cooling down slowly but surely as the humidity is making me sweat less each day. It was crazy how humid it was the first week we were in Hangzhou. I mean, us Iowans think we know humidity, but this was worse! Plus everyone walks and bikes everywhere and most places don't have air conditioning. But at least I don't have work out for awhile, considering how many calories one can sweat off here.
I do like that people walk and bike to many of their destinations. It's fun and adventurous way because we get to enjoy the beauty of this city more easily. And most people barter and shop in the black markets for their clothes, jewelry, bags, and shoes. It's really fun to barter and I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that I am pretty good at. I mean hey, I like to shop! But for example, lets say I was buying a pair of earrings. The person will start off at like 150 Yuan and type it in the calculator. Then I give some amazed look of disgust of how expensive it is and begin to walk away. They will then holler at you to come back and type in the price you pay. And eventually you typically get things down to half or a third of what the starting price was. It's so much fun!
Did I mention how cheap things are here too? Breakfast in the caf costs about 50 cents, lunch about $3 and dinner still under $10!!!! How crazy is that. I also got a haircut much cheaper than LaJames' prices. And those I must say are pretty cheap for the states. Anyways, hopefully I can find a way to upload photos on this thing so you can see me Asian-looking haircut. LOL
Second day of classes was dandy. I really like all of my teachers (three Chinese-speaking classes)so far and my class mates are fun for the most part. We are taking it easy this first week just to get us introduced to what the classes will be like. But I know it will pick up quickly as China is known for fast-pace academics. But that's how my Chinese teacher from Luther ran our class so I am sort of, kind of used to it. I can't wait though to become more comfortable with this language because speaking and writing is so beautiful!!
I had to bring some "home" to my dorm room. I have an Obama poster with his big speech written out above his face, a Frank Sinatra poster, and a big calendar from Oyama! And then I have some postcards of the Hawekeyes, Englert Theatre, and pictures of friends up on a board. But I forgot my Korean flag! That has been replaced with a rice-patty hat:)
I have noticed there are a lot of foreign exchange students from Germany, Britain, and Nigeria. It's crazy because they all hang out in large packs. Like the Germans and Brits always sit out on the front stair case at night just to chit chat and smoke some cigs. Then the Nigerians just travel in packs, if you see one, others will not be far behind. I guess the group I came with is so diverse and small that it's hard to be obvious about always hanging out with them.
Anyways, off to do some homework and then dinner at our Professor's apartment.