Chinese Mosquitoes

I swear the pollution must make these mothersuckers stronger…..how?!

Why was I bitten on the face four times already two nights ago? These insects couldn’t even wait for the lakes and rivers to defrost. They were here until late November, why must they also arrive early?!

I just spent time hunting one down with a shoe so I can have a peaceful night’s sleep. My mosquito zapper is charging tonight and I’m going back into defense mode. Mosquitoes love me, maybe it has something to do with my blood type, but this statement is fact. As long as I’m in the room others need not fear, for I shall be taking all of the heat. I had a Chinese roommate laugh and tell me not to worry because the same thing happens to her. I relaxed a little bit, but still slept fully covered with only my forehead and fingertips exposed, while she slept on top of her comforter in shorts and a tank….guess who was bitten?! I’m telling you guys, I’m not paranoid…just unluckily tasty.

Registration Day & Reporter Dodging

Class registration yesterday felt a lot like registration last semester. It was actually the same registration process from last semester, when I was a new student and had to fill out forms and run around with passport copies and little photos (FYI Coming to Asia always have a hundred passport sized photos handy…you need them all the time). I assumed I wouldn’t have to go through it again, but China does love itself some paperwork. Literally, everything must be printed and stamped for it to be official; going to the bank is like taking a visit to a library….

Good news was I ran into a lot of old classmates and had a good time catching up. Teachers also bombarded me, but they have a tendency to do that in China…and from what I hear, all of Asia. The student teacher relationship is different in the Far East, when students see teachers outside here…students run TO the teacher to talk to them, rather than pretend partial blindness and hope they don’t notice you either *cough cough* I also picked my list of classes, I’m excited because they all interest me and I think I have the perfect combination : Chinese History, Movie Appreciation, Speech Arts, Communicating Across Cultures (this class is with undergraduates who are Chinese, not international ones…I thought taking one of these would add a bit of a challenge and plus I already know the teacher really well), World Economics, Ancient Chinese (Beginners), and Contemporary Literature. It sounds like a lot, but all of these classes only meet once a week, strange but I’m not complaining. Classes start next week. This semester I plan on going to every class (no more skipping for dumb reasons), doing ALL of my homework (not just most of it), and learning as much Chinese as I can in these last few months. It’s so sad but it’s almost over, I’ve been out of America for 10 months now, yeah I miss it and my friends and family, but I also enjoy my life over here….Well no need to dwell on that when I still have time!~

Side Note:

The paparazzi harassment has started again, I told a reporter in December that I would be out of town for two months, a lie but I really hate this lifestyle….I’m meant to be a lawyer, not a celebrity! Parents run up to me on the street (and one time a bookstore) and exclaim about how they loved me on the show. A cab driver yelled in extreme familiarity when I sat down (it was an awkward cab ride), just yesterday a random old man came up to me and recited an entire KuaiBan story (there were witnesses…I’m not joking). Anyways, I thought that would put the reporter off, and of course she promised to get in touch at the end of February…well, she actually DID. I did an interview for her two days ago. Then a director/producer from the TV station kept calling today. I ignored for as long as I could, but by around call 15 I felt bad for her, so I picked up. Well, my friend Alex and I are going to the studio on Sunday to get a run through for the show I will be performing in next Saturday. She tried to get me in there tomorrow but I lied about needing to go to Beijing for a couple of days to buy me some time. Honestly, I need to come up with reasons I love Tianjin since that’s what the interviewer will most likely ask. Where are my Miss America pageant question skills when I need them?

Men…

…the bane of my existence.

Last night had to be one of the funniest ones in Helen’s, Brandon and I have been getting pretty awkward around each other, I don’t even know why. Alex and I headed over around 10 so I could grab a salad (Helen’s salads are the best in Tianjin, hands down) and met up with Avi, Moon, Li Jun You, Mustapha (an African guy raised in India), and some of their friends. Since there were too many of us, we split tables and sat somewhere else. I ate my salad happily and drank a beer (something I shouldn’t have done but Brandon handed me a free one so I couldn’t resist). We talked for a while, then Avi went to Moon and the other’s table for a while, when he came back I discovered they had drinks and I wanted to see about getting some free ones so I headed over. Moon was being strangely forward with the arm around my shoulder right from the get-go, I was confused but understood after I discovered that his Chinese friend was a player, believe it or not, his English name is Dance. So dance and I played a Chinese drinking game that involves dice called ShaiZi, he started asking me what I thought of Chinese boys and once Moon went to the bathroom asked if I had a boyfriend. Of course I answered no, and then hinted that I’m a sucker for vodka, I expected just a shot of it or a glass, but no… the guy comes back with an entire bottle. I felt so touched, haha. Moon was giving me the stank eye but what is a girl to do, refuse vodka? I think not.

After a few too many shots, I felt less awkward about talking with Brandon, so we talked for a bit, and I even forced him to speak English with me. His English is so adorable; also I took advantage of the situation and asked him what kind of girls he likes…his answer made me SO mad. He likes girls who are “calm” and get him. Ok, the second part is a no-brainer, but what the heck is a “calm” girl, obviously it’s the opposite of me, loud and crazy Marsha. I walked away a bit angry and went back to Dance and Moon’s table (gosh saying their names together are so funny), I then cried out my woes to Moon. Not literally cried but I was sad, plus Moon found out about my wanting to rape Brandon thing a few days ago thanks to Li Jun You, so he made a good confidante. At least I thought so before, but sometimes I forget that he likes me, so he took the opportunity “give me his shoulder” and kept talking about how great I am and that I would find someone better. He definitely meant himself, but I was too tipsy to care. I also remember him saying things like, “Crushes and boyfriends come and go but friends *pointed to himself* are forever”. Omg this guy is too funny. He also offered to take me on a vacation in two weeks, to another province in China. Just to tour around and he would pay for everything….I love touring, and the thought made my college budget mind sing, but honestly I have to turn him down. That would just be too cruel. It’s one thing to lead a guy on for drinks, but to do it for a vacation is on a whole other level.

Also, I’m pretty sure he’s mad at me now, because Brandon and I sat talking in a corner for over an hour at the end of the night. Nothing romantic happened, I decided I will just be his friend since I’m not “calm” enough for him. He asked me what kind of guys I like and I told him, honestly my list is not that hard, I just want someone taller than me, nice, smart, funny, and cute. He also offered to show me around his school sometime…let’s see if he actually follows through with that, the prick…opps! I guess I am a little angry still, but the resentment will go away I’m sure. Moon came over at some point and tried to cockblock but I sent him away (there was nothing to block, haha). Oh, I just remembered, Dancer asked if I wanted to “go home” with him…the kid’s funny, I gave no indication of more than friendship so of course I said no. He’s pretty harmless though so we exchanged numbers and I said we could be friends. All in all, my heart got broken last night, but it’s ok, I need to stop with the guys anyways, boys bring nothing but trouble!

Workout Time

I have been so good lately; I stopped drinking beer (so many extra calories when straight out vodka gets the job done quicker), go to the gym everyday again (I have been so bad about that, I haven’t not been to a gym this long since freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL), and have been eating better. This is all part of my “Get Right for the Summer” plan. Haha, have to get in beach shape before I go back to Florida in 5 months right? Hopefully at least, my aim is to lose 10-12kg, around 20 pounds. I really am a stickler for slow weight loss, starve yourself and you look good for a week, but when you start eating again it looks even worse, not to mention, I have been losing weight slowly for the last 6 years. I have almost always been a bigger girl (I would never call myself “skinny”), but I put on A LOT of weight in middle school. To lose that weight, I never did anything extreme, just made sure to keep active and eat less of the bad foods. That way your metabolism gets better and even when you stop working out as much you don’t gain weight….take me for example, these past few months in China I have been eating to my heart’s content, fries, pizza, etc, and didn’t gain more than 5 pounds.  I will make sure to update my progress…Wish me luck!~ *Stay strong Marsha*

Back To School

What is school like in China?

Every college within the university likes to keep separate, so depending on one’s major you may find it hard to interact with others outside of your major. For example, the Chinese Language Department has it’s own math classes, English classes, economic classes, etc, even though it would make more sense to let the Math Department or whatever handle that. I heard that it has something to do with the way tuition is given; students pay their departments, not the college itself.  I have to admit, going to University here reminds me strongly of my high school years. Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors each have a set class list, with only two or three elective classes to chose from. Due to the distinct class separation, most people hang out with people from their own years, I’ve had a lot of people ask, “How did you become friends with her (a Freshman)?” Also, there are bells to signify the beginning/end of a class period. Did I mention that there is also a lunch bell? It’s definitely a throwback, and I do enjoy the freedom of the American college system, but I don’t hate the Chinese way either. I guess it’s just different, and having different experiences help shape us into better people.

Personal Update:

I went into the Chinese Department yesterday to solve a problem, I am an “International student” and we have our own classes separate from international students actually majoring in the four year program here at Nankai. My problem was that I finished the highest level offered to “International students” and so the only next step is to take classes with the normal undergraduates. I’m excited to do it, but I forgot to check when the undergrads start classes, which apparently was yesterday. Not a problem though, because I can’t even start until registration for the “International students” opens up on the 27th, so I guess I’m starting a week earlier than planned, but I am excited to start classes again and feel the pressure to study seriously 😛

Creeper Alert

Creeper Alert: Three nights ago, my good friend Alex came back from his 10 day trip to Japan, so of course we celebrated with a trip to Helen’s. It was a hilarious night because he got pretty wasted, it was also his 21st birthday celebration since he didn’t celebrate it right in Japan (no drinking). Percy was there also, he’s the Chinese frined of mine who studied in Australia and has really cool eyes, they remind me of TOP from Big Bang. Everyone comments on them, even Asians, haha. I got over being mad at him, he told Alex that I’m a bad kisser, when in actuality HE was the bad kisser, he attacked me with his tongue and so I just stood there (in shock)! I must defend my honor, haha. But I digress, about the creeper: the whole time we were in Helen’s I kept seeing a tall, black man looking at me from the corner. I wasn’t sure, because it was dark the first time I met him, but I was pretty sure it was Biggy. An American (or wherever he’s from) who hit on me two months ago in Xitang. After that night I never encouraged him, actually I barely “encouraged” him that night, just smiled and politely answered questions. Well I must be a vixen because he kept calling and texting after that, I even made Avi pick up one time to scare him. I hoped he wouldn’t come up to me, men have pride right? But he approached me at the bar and said, “Well, don’t you look familiar?” I looked right back at him and said, “Really? Because I don’t think we’ve met”. A normal guy would have left insulted, but he stayed the course. At the end of the night he got my number (again!) and asked me when I would be free, I gave a vague answer and told him to call me. He said, “But you won’t pick up”….If he knows I won’t pick up then why bother asking?!? Did he think he could manhandle me into liking him? Haha, and surely the next day he called and texted. Why do the ones I would never like like me?

Good Night Out

Finally the semester is going to start!

Winter vacation in China is very different than the one’s I experienced in America. Usually vacation means more people out clubbing, drinking, or doing anything….well not in Tianjin it doesn’t. A lot of the Nankai students are “out-of-state” so once break hit there was a great wave of young folk who left, not to mention all of these holidays during the break are family holidays. So everyone holed up at home and didn’t go out to play. The clubs and bars had been dead for a month, but starting yesterday, things picked back up again! It must be because school starts on Monday….Anyways I met some friends for lunch at the commercial district, Bin Jiang Dao. It was surprisingly cold, and I took forever to get there, so as an apology (they looked so pathetically cold!) I paid for the meal. I’m so sweet right? Haha. Then met up with Moon and some other friends later for dinner. Again I had some apologizing to do (gosh, why is apologizing so expensive?), I ditched Moon twice in a row, one day being on Valentine’s Day (how was I supposed to guess that he wanted to hang out?) so I promised him a meal. Oh, my pocket hurts, I run through cash here like it’s Monopoly money.

Prior to dinner though, I received surprise phone call…it was Brandon. He only asked me, “Aren’t you coming out tonight (to Helen’s)?” I screamed in joy because that meant he was back. So after dinner, we went over to Helen’s and I saw the love of my life again, *sigh* he is just as dreamy as ever. I didn’t flirt too hardcore with him because I didn’t want to appear too eager, but if he would only give me an hour’s time and a private place…..but I digress. Oh, before I forget, Moon said something that REALLY pissed me off, what a jerk face. He looked at me all seriously and said, “You know, if you were thinner you would be really beautiful/sexy”……Excuse me, WHAT?! Then he ogled my boobs. Wow, writing about this just makes me mad again, I made him buy me a drink and as I got tipsy I forgot I was mad at him, but now I remember…..I’m so gonna make him pay for that! Just because he wants me and won’t get me doesn’t mean he can be a jerk off. Whatever, Brandon’s hug at the end of the night sustained me and kept me from doing vengeance. I can’t wait to try and work my wiles out on Brandon some more, he doesn’t know it yet but we are soulmates~

After Helen’s, we took a trip to Xitang. Like everywhere else, Xitang had been disappointingly empty for the month, but yesterday it was packed and so much fun. Every time I turned a corner, I ran into old friends/acquaintances, I loved having that feeling again. One person I ran into was this cute Russian guy I met last week, but he was trying to hit on  this butter face Chinese girl all night (Eww). Another bonus of the night, though, was that I kept getting free drinks from a fabulous, gay Chinese man. He was a great dancer AND had nipple rings; it doesn’t get any better than that, right? We danced until 5 am, then Moon and Li Jun You (my Korean friend with perfect Chinese) abducted me and forced me back to their apartment complex, we watched a terrible Korean “horror” movie. I must admit, I am impressed with myself, the movie only had Chinese subtitles and I still followed along with no problem….not bad for a drunk viewing, haha. Then I crashed on Li Jun You’s extra bed until 12 in the afternoon, and ran back home to shower and catch a movie with some Chinese friends who are back in town. I originally planned to go out tonight too, it’s a night of guaranteed free drinks and great music, but Mother Nature had other plans. I wonder why woman are so cursed, not only do we have to bare the children, but every month (just for kicks) we experience cramping pains in our midsections….don’t get me started on the bloating. Oh the joy of being a woman!

 

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