Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chinese Friends

Well, it's getting down to the wire. We leave Tianjin one week from Sunday, and I wish I had more time here! I've finally started to make some Chinese friends, which makes a world of difference in helping me get around town and function as a normal, capable adult should.

I've found my friendships here very refreshing. Chinese college students have a certain innocence that's hard to find in girls my age at home. The feeling I'm trying to describe is hard to put into words... but it brings back memories of carefree summer days spent with neighborhood friends by the pool, getting ice cream, and just wandering around the neighborhood goofing off. It's the kind of feeling that I didn't realize I missed until I got it back.

Of course, my Chinese friends and I do more adult things like shopping or going out to lunch, but it's that same kind of wholesome, good- natured fun that makes silly games like Ghost-in-the-Graveyard a blast. A return to childhood innocence, perhaps?

ANYWAY, these are a few of my new Chinese friends:

Suzi is my homestay friend from last weekend. She's very sweet and innocent, but has a huge crush on a Korean pop star. Other than the Korean boy, her dad is her idol and she hopes one day to become a translator. Suzi's a self-proclaimed "optimistic girl" who "loves to smile." Here is the last e-mail she sent me:

I miss you..hahahow are you these days?It was really a good time you stayed with us.I will send you the photos,And,by the way ,dad said that if you have time ,he'd like to chat with you moreHe and my mother both miss you!
Well,it's late,I shall have a sleep now,best wishes to you!

Anny is Suzi's friend who hung out with us pretty much the whole weekend. She's a minority (non-Han Chinese) and a Muslim. On Saturday, she told me that she has a thing for German boys, because somehow she'd heard they're gentlemen. It just so happens that we have a German boy studying abroad with the FSU program... so we set them up on a group date. Last night Anny came over to the dorm a little early to get ready. Another FSU student, Sallie, and I did her hair and make-up beforehand... COMPLETE transformation- Anny looked gorgeous! Unfortunately, our German friend got sick last night but we rounded up some other boys for dinner and made the most of the situation.

Today, Anny sent me this cute e-mail:

Dear Janet,
I'm really really happy tonight! I know you and Sallie more deeply.You are both so kind girls that treat me by true heart.

Actually I don’t mind boyfriend. I just want to make friends.In China there is a sentence“We depend on parents at home ,but outside we need friends”. So please do not be angry with Farbien(not sure how to spell).I hope hell be better soon!

When I came back home,my mum and dad nearly can’t recognize me.Dad said,You’ve never been so pretty before. He~he~.So he wants to invite you and Sallie,of course the two lovely guys Jared and Brett to a famous Muslim restaurant named Hong Qi Shun.After I’m coming back from my sisters. I'll mail you,Ok?

Are all of you going to Pan Mountain this Saturday? And Sallie with other foreign friends will be back to USA on August 5th ,is that right? Please let me know.

I'm a fortunate girl to make good frinends with both of you .Thanks my friends tonight!!!
Loving you…
also your dear friend Anny

Shawna, my roommate Michelle, and I went shopping today. Shawna and I met at a mixer held for Chinese and American students my second week here. Since then we've had lunch, gone shopping, and I've got a pending invitation to dinner with her family next week. Shawna's very stylish and very "Western;" she doesn't like frilly clothes, knows what "lesbian" means (that was a pretty funny discussion!), and likes to go clubbing. She's an English major and working this summer as a dancer at a local restaurant (not sure exactly what that means); in August, she'll begin work as a translator for various Olympic teams.

Lena is my Chinese partner: she helps me with my Chinese while I help her with English. We've met a few times at Starbucks and she thinks my Chinese pronounciation is really funny (which I'm sure it is). Right now, Lena has three jobs and is enrolled in a Japanese class. I told her I never know what foods to order in restaurants, so she made me a five-page list of Chinese foods with characters and everything.

I love them all!

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