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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Unfamiliarity of it All

Finally, a new video is here! Yeah, I've been pretty much keeping to a once-a-week update unconsciously, so I guess I'll be sticking to that schedule!

I just got my teaching schedule and textbook/curriculum and everything, so I'll be putting up a post about that soon.

First, the videos! Watch, and then I'll get into more detail below. As always, YouTube and Youku:


As I said in my previous post and in this video, everything you do here is different. Everything. And to a certain extent, it is really wonderful, but sometimes it can be really tough.

I'm not really sure how to explain it, but there's a great amount of satisfaction to be had in daily life in China, especially in a place like Lanzhou, where there are few foreigners.

You find yourself in these seemingly normal circumstances here - buying food, going to a restaurant, talking to people in Chinese, seeing the neon lights at night, and all of these other you they are normal life, and to be able to function in these ways without really thinking about it is really satisfying.

You have to use your Chinese to do all of these things, you have to always be aware of the fact that people may be staring at you literally all the time, you have to use your patience to deal with crowds or lines or noise or whatever, and at the end of the day, when (or if) you think about what happened that day or what you did that day, you kind of say,

"Oh, yeah, I totally just did ______ in China/Chinese, who knew I would/could ever do that?"

Just doing simple things requires a little work in another language or requires a little more thought, and it's these little daily/hourly challenges that make life here so interesting. Some people relish how awesome new and unfamiliar things are, and some people just don't.

You think and live with a different part of your mind here than you do back home. Because you're utilizing this other language, it changes how you think and how you deal with the circumstances around you, and that's something you just can't fully explain to people. It's one of the biggest reasons that people who come here stay here. 

That's about all I've got for you now - I guess I'll talk to you later!


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