I Hate Winter

As promised, this is for my weekly update on my travels. I should have been doing this a long time ago.

I’m sick just in time for the weekend. Sneezing ten times in a row, coughing, sweats, feeling week, and overall feeling like crap. The weather in Xi’an has been odd. It hasn’t snowed yet and from what I’ve been told, this is the warmest winter it has been in years. Today’s temperature is 45f/7c degrees which has been one of the coldest days so far. Although I’m from the New York City tristate area, this is still too cold for me. Call me a baby if you like but I’m just not the biggest fan of the cold. In fact, I’ve even skipped winter last year by traveling from the north to the south as the seasons change. This made for a lighter backpack. I’ll only be in Xi’an for another three weeks before skipping the rest of this winter so I’d hate to buy any more winter clothing. I only own three long sleeved shirts and my jacket isn’t designed to warm me up. I need a beach.

Hanging out with my students and playing pool

I like hanging out with my students. They still think of me a teacher even outside of the classroom but since it’s more casual, they tend to loosen up more and actually speak better English. Since they’re University students, we are close with age and can relate. One of the students we hung out with, Allen, came out to play pool with us and said “Michael, I am so excited to be here with you.” Yes, a male and not into me in that way. I don’t get that kind of attention at home.

In the same building as our usual spot for Karaoke, there’s a floor with pool tables that we go to often. Tom and I invited a bunch of our close student friends and played for about two hours. We’re regulars here and most of the workers have gotten to know us. I felt like I needed fresh air after locking myself in for most of the day because I was sick. I ended up being a bit more moody than usual because of me being sick but still a great time. I lost all three games I played in.

Chinese Pool
Some of our students with my buddy Tom

Learning Mandarin Update

It’s annoying me how little I know of the language. I’m self studying using Rosetta Stone, Podcasts, and consistently having my students teach me new words but I’m still having a hard time retaining the language. Rosetta Stone surprisingly works very well and maybe I’ll go into more detail on it with another article. Podcasts have helped learned basic conversational words. My students always want to teach me and I do seem to learn best in a casual setting. I did try to do private lessons but I got increasingly frustrated. Though I do understand consistency is key in learning a language, I feel overwhelmed by everything else that I do in my daily life that sometimes I slack off on this aspect. I need to prioritize my tasks.

I think I may have ranted too much in this post. I blame my sickness. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows when traveling (or maybe none at all because of the pollution).

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