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It’s the Final Countdown!

December 11th, 2012 arreta14

First off (as always), new words of this post are not Chinglish words, but rather words that I am very excited to know how to say in Chinese. The words are “绝地武士” (Jue Di Wu Shi) and “光剑“ (Guang Jian). These (according to Yuan Quan) are how to say Jedi Knight and Light-saber in Chinese. We got on this topic of conversation while we were talking about watching eachothers’ countries’ movies.

Anyway, as I’m sure everyone at Holy Cross can understand, I am in the thick of studying for final exams (Yes they have finals abroad as well… sorry 🙂 ) This week we are just spending our class time reviewing all the new grammar and words since midterms. It’s getting a little overwhelming, but I’ll give you a quick catch up as to what’s been going on since my last post.

To start off, we did end up going to see Beijing Opera! I was so excited about seeing it, but unfortunately I realized it’s just not my cup of tea. I’m really glad I saw it and it was definitely interesting, but between the actors not using microphones (meaning it was hard to hear them over the live orchestra) and the fact that no one, including Chinese people in the audience can understand the lyrics, it wasn’t like seeing an opera or a musical in the USA. In Beijing Opera, the actors speak in Mandarin, but they use very archaic words and phrases that even my teachers and Yuan Quan sometimes cannot understand.

This is one of the performers in Beijing opera all suited up. Just also want to point out that he's wearing 4-5 layers of clothing under that outer coat. It must be SOOOO hot in that costume.

In mid November CET took us on a trip to Nanjing (a large city about an hour West of Shanghai) and Yuan Quan came along. Nanjing definitely seemed like a cool city, but unfortunately the weather for the days that we were there was absolutely miserable and it was hard to find places with good reasonably priced food. So to sum up, it was cold, raining and I was usually starving… yeah I wasn’t a happy camper.

But aside from that, we did get to see a lot in Nanjing.

The Yuejiang Tower. A beautiful building that really shows old Chinese architecture. This picture also shows what the weather was like for the two days we were in Nanjing.

Yuan Quan, Me and Yong Kai (another CET student) pretending to take an imperial exam in an old imperial school in Nanjing. The guy standing up is a bystander that we asked to pretend to be our instructor.

The memorial of the Nanjing Massacre. A very important and saddening site to visit in Nanjing.

This sign reminded me how old Chinese history is. Can anyone think of a figure American History who we could celebrate their 2563th birthday?

Had to bring the Crusader with me!

After coming back to Beijing, I was determined to find a lot of really good food. I explored an area in central eastern Beijing called “San Li Tuan.” San Li Tuan is known for being a very modern and better looking neighborhood in Beijing. It also has a number of great restaurants. I have googled “best place to eat (X food) in Beijing” multiple times and nearly every time, of the results listed, more than half are in, or close to San Li Tuan. Some of the better places I’ve found include…

Kro's Nest Pizza. The best and biggest Pizza in Beijing! This pizza, which covered most of the table I was sitting at, is only their medium pizza.

Blue Frog. This place, in addition to serving massive and delicious burgers, also has a good american style breakfast.

I have also explored another interesting area in Beijing called Yabaolu. This area is known as being a Russian area in Beijing. In case you missed it in one of my earlier posts, I started studying Russian at the start of my Sophomore year at Holy Cross and I ended up loving it. I was excited to walk around this area a little and recognize some of the words. But it was also a nice reminder of how much Russian I’ve forgotten since the end of last year… I hope that next semester (When I’m in Shanghai) I’ll be able to start taking up Russian again.

The inside of one of the shopping centers in Yabaolu. Yup, it looks Russian

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Andrew Retallick '14

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