Okay, a few things I forgot from my post yesterday.
1. Children in army uniforms. It's freaking me out. We were at the University after our language classes, and our class got out earlier than the other half. So, we walked down a little bit to where the bus was parked instead of waiting for it to pull up in front of the building. Off to the side, I saw this group of 8 Chinese students, in army green outfits, doing these drills. My first thought was, "Wow. Those kids look really young, like maybe freshmen in high school." Then I figured they couldn't be because they were on a college campus and because who enrolls fourteen year olds in the military? Then, later that night, while we were walking in the alley, I saw more kids in army greens. And I really mean kids this time. These kids were 11 or 12 years old, just riding down the street in army uniforms. What is going on here? Maybe I'll find out later, and I doubt they're actually enlisted in anything, but it is still FREAKING me out. Pre-pre-training for the military?
2. The mall cop. We went into the really nice mall and this security guy came up to Kirk, seemingly a little angry. It turned out that he was making it very clear to him that our group was not to take pictures of the mall. Whatever, okay. What I noticed was that he had the Chinese flag tied into a bandana of sorts around his arm. I don't really have anything else to add to that other than it was an observation.
Alright, so the day so far. This morning started out pretty rough. I had a pretty bad dream last night, and Marcus was in it. It was kind of sad, because I wasn't able to see him before I left, and he messaged me while I was in the Beijing airport to talk. I guess that must have been on my mind, because my first thought when I woke up was that I needed to mend things with Marcus...then I realized I was in China. I was pretty upset, and that added more fuel to my concerns about whether or not I was doing the right thing. Emily and I had enough time this morning to talk about how we were feeling while we were getting ready, because I think we're both feeling similarly about the decision to come to China.. or at least we're both yo-yoing back and forth depending on how much alone time we have.
It was a really good thing for me that we had Chinese lessons first thing this morning, because I was able to completely throw myself into them and concentrate on learning things. We learned how to order drinks in a restaurant, and I feel really good that I can string together some short sentences. I really want to find a way to take classes while I'm here or find a personal tutor or something.
I had some more down time today, and it was alright. I mostly spent my time getting on the computer and posting because Tyler finally helped me figure out my computer charging problem. It really helped me feel better....even though it was the middle of the freaking night back home and I wasn't actually able to talk to my parents. I did get to send them an e-mail, though.
The solution to my problem seems to come in reading. I've downloaded a ton of books on my iPad, but at the rate I'm going through them to keep myself occupied and my mind off of missing everyone, I'm worried that it's not going to get me too far. We'll see.
Lunch was, again, really good. I didn't try the pig ears. I couldn't bring myself to eat them because they looked so fatty. Oh well. I ate pretty much everything else. I'm also getting much better at crossing the street. I actually crossed all by myself today to get a water after training. Success!!
The one bad thing I found out today is that planning for my parents to come is going to be more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Apparently no one freaking knows when the Chinese New Year is going to be or when the semester break is going to be. I seriously have issues understanding how a middle school wouldn't have the semester break planned. That weirds me out. I guess the only thing I can do is wait until I meet with my foreign affairs officer next week and see what he says and keep my parents updated. (Dad, I know you'll love that). So, cool.
We're getting ready to go to dinner now, so I'm sure there are more adventures to come. I'm not planning on letting myself have any down time until I have access to a wireless connection and my text messaging.