Still had issues sleeping, even though the room was almost bearable temperature wise. But I got more sleep than yesterday, so that’s something. Also slept in, didn’t get up until 7.30, pure luxury…
At 10.30 we got ready to head into town, still trying to get used to that the bus stop is a 20 minute walk away, back home the bus stop is 30 seconds away, I would normally bike anywhere (Danish culture playing in again) and I would have 6 different supermarket within a radius of 400m. Here a trip to the city is a full day project. After the 20 minute walk you wait for the bus 10-20 minutes and then the bus takes between 40-60 minutes to reach the city. Just in time for lunch 😛 The tradition seems to be going to a place called big pizza just a few minutes from the bus stop. As the name indicates they serve pizza, luckily for me they also serve other stuff, since I have a mild intolerance for all food containing grains it also means that pizza is off limits and that kind of takes the joy out of going to a pizza place, at least for me. You pay 55 yuan (8,6$/7,75€) at the entrance and then there is an all you can eat and drink (including 2,5% beer) buffet, it is actually quite nice, and especially the long term students starting to long for western food loves it. Besides the pizza it also has nuggets French fries, spaghetti bolognaise and some more Chinese inspired dishes. On the more questionable site it also has some dishes that seems to be a mixture of the two food cultures. Even though it is nice I have only been in China for a few days, I haven’t started to miss “real” food just yet and I still remember how things are supposed to taste and the tricky part here is that even though it looks like food from home the taste is always slightly off. It taste somewhat like pizza, it taste almost like nuggets and so on. But no matter that the taste is slightly off; it is still nice to get something that is not “rice with stuff” and the company is amazing.
I like supermarkets (I know I am weird) and I like having time to explore them, especially in a new country. What is normal, what is the setup, what cant I get and so on. I also had a very significant shopping list that would require slightly more time than the 15-20 minutes the old students normally use in there. Some of the things on my shopping list that I think might be relevant for other new students are: hangers, washing powder, toilet paper, bowl, cup, spoon, knife, water bottle, snacks, jam/Nutella/honey (for the breakfast), and fruit.
Stuff that might not be relevant for others but was on my shipping list: scale, more t-shirts, towel, shampoo/conditioner, mirror, milk, and tea.
Its an amazing supermarket. I bought some new t-shirts and they are completely random, that I had to buy a male XL in order to fit them is a minor detail. I am also completely in love with my new my little pony bowl and minions cup. The scale must be broken though, the numbers it shows are way too high….
I love milk, and I brought some protein powder with me from home, and I prefer that with milk, and I also need it for my breakfast, cold porridge made from chia seeds. Sometimes I use regular milk (doesn’t really taste like regular milk) or walnut/almond milk, both things that taste surprisingly better than you should think. And since the “regular” milk doesn’t really taste like milk I might as well try something new. Some of the others also buys yogurt and eat that together with their breakfast.
In total, lets just say I bought half the supermarket, I filled up my huge backpack and had several bags as well and I might have spent slightly more than the average student does first time in the supermarket, but I was happy and I got everything I wanted.
For going home I split a taxi with 4 others, it was rather cramped in there since it was a regular car and only built for 5 people, not 6. But the trip home costs 50 yuan (8$/7€) so you don’t want to pay that alone. Somehow the day had disappeared and it was 5 when we came home and because of big pizza I wasn’t really hungry at dinner.
We had yet another movie night where I was completely outnumbered in the movie selection and we ended up watching predator 3, as the first two weren’t bad enough…. This one completely lacked story, but I guess the story isn’t why you are watching any predator movie, considering that the opening scene in the first movie is a 30 second long zooming in on Arnold Schwarzenegger´s biceps flexing…..
Sleeping in long again. I had planned to do nothing but trying to survive the humidity and heat by lying completely still all day but somehow some of the Dutch guys convinced me to go on a 2½ hour walk to the temple nearby, so there went my plan. Then I had planned to do some washing but because of the intense rain yesterday the power is gone on the ground floor, where the washing machine is…. So back to plan 1, do nothing .
Even though I had been reluctant to go t the temple I was happy I did. It was really beautiful and there was an old monk that was very fascinated by the fact that I was so tall (184) he was around 160. I had no clue what else he was talking about (mental note on trying to learn more Chinese). But he did write me a note, apparently he thought that I could read Chinese even though I could not speak it, not sure of how he came to that conclusion though…. I later got the note translated, and it was something as simple as “where are you from?” rather disappointed, I had half expected some clever/deep Buddhism quote.
It is not allowed to take pictures inside the temple, but it is very pretty on the inside as well, with lots of strong colors and many statues of different monks/Buddha’s in gold. We put in a few yuan in the box in front of the alter, bowed 3 times and got a blessing from the monk, or at least that’s what I think he did. Then we walked the 40 minutes back again, went into a shop on the way where I got a horrible ice cream.
After the trip to the temple it was relaxing time. Sundays are going to be my favorite day, nothing scheduled and nothing to do but relax and enjoy the silence (except from the screaming crickets, how long is that mating season??). At home I never have (or take) the time to just do nothing an entire day, it really is nice and something I very quickly could get accustomed to do.
I got a VPN from one of the others and I could finally do a google search and go on Facebook. The internet is strictly censored by the Chinese government so many pages from the western world simply won’t work here, the solution to that is a VPN, basically it is a program that tells your computer that it is another place than it really is and then you can suddenly access everything you want. There are free versions but you will get the best long term results if you get a paid version, they are not that expensive and 100% worth the frustration of not being able to use social media and anything connected to google. The best will be to purchase one before you come to China, most of the pages where you have to download them are also blocked and that kinda makes it hard to get one. The internet is not fast down here, but you can check you mail and Facebook and occasionally see a YouTube video. The academy is working on a better connection, but the infrastructure in China is in general not very stable and especially not in the countryside where the kungfu academy is located.