About seven days ago from today, I was able to buy a bike and it was one of the most useful tools I have now in order to get around quickly when I am starving or need to get to class. It is very convenient and it is great exercise. I’ve learned to be very careful at intersections, because sometimes they can get pretty crazy and you always want to drive straight and not move too much to your left or right. This is because many people come flying really quickly behind you on their electric bikes or mopeds. To be honest, the main reason I bought it was because there is this noodle store that is my favorite and every day I go there to eat these very spicy thick noodles with lettuce and cabbage on them. I will definitely miss those when I am gone from here. In fact, I go there so much, I don’t even have to say what I want anymore. All I do is walk in and sit down. Then they bring me my noodles.
Today, Julius took us to an ancient town called Luo Dai, and they had many things to blow your money on. It is hard not to get carried away on lots of little cool stuff for sale. My professors know a lot of information about the subjects they teach and definitely learned a lot while I’ve been in class with them. I am a criminology major, so in the criminal justice classes we are learning a lot in a comparative perspective about China, United States, Japan, and other countries. The work is a lot right now for one of the classes, because it is all condensed into six weeks, but if you time everything out right then you should be OK.
The pandas were awesome to see; they love to eat and don’t stop eating until they fall asleep. They are very active in the morning and it is definitely worth it to go there. You may see pandas in the United States once in a while, but seeing a whole panda base was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I wish I could have held one, but the base stopped letting people do that. They might bring it back, because it was making very good money for panda research (2000-3000 yuan to hold one for less than a minute). Seems pricey, but it is a once in a lifetime experience. It has definitely been a great month so far and I don’t regret anything except for not working enough to be able to spend more money here!
Another great event was the Food Culture Night where I didn’t eat the entire day specifically for this event. Everyone and their buddies brought in something they made to eat! Buddies are Chinese friends you are teamed up with to help you with getting to know places, teach you Chinese, and hangout with! We had many different dishes and it was like food-heaven. Can’t wait to see what is coming up for the couple of months.