So my first week of Chinese classes are over! (Thank goodness!)
On the first day, I saw a blonde guy sitting on a bench outside the classrooms and he said to me "I sure hope you're learning Mandarin!" And with that a new friend was made, Divan, from South Africa. He lives near me too, so we've been hanging out at school together ever since. (Even taking the same taxi home sometimes!) I also met Bram, a guy from Holland, Nina, a woman from the phillipines, and Helen, another woman from England. There are also other Americans in my class, one from Italy, Chile, Israel, another guy from the UK, and a few Koreans. So I go to school with people from *literally* around the world. How cool is that! I'm going out with Divan, Bram, Nina, and *hopefully* Helen (her boyfriend is sick, so we'll see...) tomorrow for dinner and to some bars and whatnot. I'm looking forward to it! It gets kind of tiring hanging out with my dad and his buddies all the time! haha!
It was a rough first week of class, with the teachers using the characters from the start, so you have to keep up with the letters if you want to know what the lesson is about!! Me + Extra Studying= Stress!! And today I was just DONE with Chinese! I was so frustrated learning about how to say "what do you like to do?" and explaining to others that I nearly had it, plus I'm tired, so that doesn't help. I think that just the stress of the ENORMITY of this task of learning Chinese in China doesn't help very much. But after class, Divan, Nina, and I all went out for coffee, so it was nice. :)
I also have been going to the gym with a personal trainer. I've been sore after every session, so "no pain no gain," right? I'm trying to lose *at least* 30 pounds (roughly 15 kilos), but we'll see. I don't know if I'll get that far in this 5 months that I'm here, but at least I'm on the right track! No weight loss yet, but now that I've been riding my bike to school (about 2 miles, 3.4 km) I think it should speed up. :) I have to meet up with Simon (that's my trainer's name) later this afternoon for some more exercise! (my muscles are hurting even thinking about it, but then again, they're still sore from the other day with Simon!)
Well, this has been a novel, so I'll cut this short. Sorry for the lack of updates this past week, but now that class has started up, there will be more to write about!