On Friday, when Chuck finished with teaching and Nate finished with his school work we rode our scooters down to Gongren Road Market, 工人路市, and looked for a few things for me but more importantly we just wanted to get out of the house since it was such a nice warm spring day. We had lunch there, I love doing meals at the markets, everyone can get what they want to eat because they have a seating area where we can eat food from whichever stall we choose. They also have vendors with drinks so we can get something to wash the burn that will occur, away. After lunch, we still wanted to stay outside so we took a walk in the park across the street. We saw street vendors selling clothing, toys, etc. In the park we saw lots of older adults who were dancing (ballroom style) and lots of traditional Chinese music played on traditional instruments and singers singing in the traditional style. Surprisingly there were several older adults who knew English and were able to communicate and I got a thrill as together Chuck and I can communicate with the people here. He is much better at understanding the spoken word and I could answer in Chinese. Funny in the states we never realized how ‘Chinese’ Nate looks but here especially when he squints he does blend in. His skin is a similar olive tone and his hair is cut in a Chinese style and although straight Chinese hair behaves differently than does his curly hair sometimes from the back it is hard to tell him from the Chinese students when we are walking on campus.
Saturday, I went with a friend to a local hospital for a minor issue, I was thinking doctor’s office but it was to a hospital that we walked. My friend, Lanfang, was also very interested in my twists, this is one hair style that I’m glad I’ve adopted as it is much cooler to wear and a great conversation piece. I don’t know that I would have been okay with having this much attention when we first came over here though. When I got home, I spent the rest of the day working on my Chinese but still have plenty to do today. Chuck and I took a long walk this morning through the park and stopping at the exercise machines to work out some. We left the apartment before I got anything to eat and by the time we got to the side street next to Dashang Super Market 大商超市, it was lunch time so we stopped at a vendor and had some fried noodles that we kept warm by steam. We then went into a market that sold groceries, tables of vegetables and meats were laid out and there were tanks for fish and seafood. Chuck has got some great pictures of me posing with the vendors and their families so check out his blog on today’s excursion. Well that pretty much gets us up to date, Monday starts the work week again and Nate is coming with me for my class, for two reasons, to give them another person to ask things to and listen to his speech patterns and to try the different snacks that are usually around for my classes break.