Chengdu, China has been nothing short of a learning experience in this past month. I have made many friends, and experienced a lot of new things that I never thought existed. A usual day for me is class at 10:30 for Mandarin and various courses after. I go to the gym during my lunch break to stay in shape with Zach another friend of mine that goes to Norwich University. From basketball with our Chinese counterparts to eating hotpot and cow tongue; I’ve gone through a wide range of emotions and experiences.
Basketball in China
Wow, I did not think some of these guys would be as good as or better than some Americans. But, I found out soon enough that their rules are way different than the rules I have become accustom to in the States. They are very soft, and love to call fouls whether there was or was not contact. That is a big LOL to me because where I am from fouls are rarely called if ever. The usual team is Trey, Jay, Mo and me. Mo and Jay are two guys we met playing ball and they’re some of the coolest guys I know. The more we play together the more we know where each of us are going to be. We have all found our various roles and zones that we are comfortable with. Some days are better than others, as long as two people on our team are cooking we will have a good run on the court. Once one of us is hot, we are FUEGOOOO. We usually ball about once or twice a week. Our team has become well known on the courts, and about a week ago we had one of the best runs ever. We won 13 straight; if I may say so myself I was feeling it that day and everything I put up went in. But honestly, playing ball is one way to cope with my homesickness.
Whoever said hotpot is not hot is a LIAR! It lives up to the name HOTPOT! Hotpot is a Sichuanese dish where there is a pot of boiling water with many spices and peppers and you cook the food yourself. It was the hottest thing that I have ever eaten in my life. The hot is not even a seasoned hot, it is just a burning sensation in your mouth. The dishes to cook were squid, cow tongue, dumplings and various meats. It was a very intense food experience and I do not believe I will be doing that again. Otherwise, I am glad I experienced it.
Literally the worst part about being in China is the homesickness. I have had some days that I have just been depressed because of it, mostly because I missed my nephew’s state tournament for lacrosse. It made me tear up hearing he was tournament MVP, because we share the same love for the sport. My baby boy growing up and I am not there to see it. But, my friends here have helped me through it. This family I met on the plane to China has been nothing short of amazing to me and helping me and always offering me a home and family environment. I truly am blessed to be here with these people and share this experience with them.