Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surviving Summer School at Beijing University

Classmate Tonje together with some hunky dude

We've finally survived the six-week intensive summer school at Beijing University.

Thank God.

I've never worked harder, having classes Monday to Friday, 08-12, then feel forced to go right home every day and review, do homework and prepare for the next classes until bedtime - and then getting up at 5 a lot of the days because I didn't have time to get everything done, even though I sat with school work even while eating my dinner the day before.

And I've never felt more lazy and stupid.

This past week have been the hardest, having all of our exams during the two last days of the summer school.

It's been crazy. We've been studying, studying, studying. And stressing, stressing, stressing, - cramming Chinese characters like crazy, having study dates with the speaking partner, getting up at 5 to study for the exams, freaking out, fight urges to curl into fetal position, and so on.

On Thursday we had the exam in our 阅读 (yuedu) class, which is the course where we work on the intimidating compendium that our home university sent with us, that is the curriculum for our oral exam that we'll have right after we've returned to Norway. It went pretty well.

On the same day we also had part I of the oral exam for our 口语 (kouyu) class, which was reading a dialogoue from our text book out loud, while the teacher scribbled notes on our pronunciation, tones, intonation and speed. It was pretty nerve-wrecking, but I think I did alright.

On Friday we had the exam for our 汉语 (hanyu) class, where we had to know the vocabulary, Chinese characters and grammar from nine chapters. (Nine chapters in six weeks) Phew! It also went pretty well.

And then we had the final part of the oral exam where we all sat together in the classroom and one by one were fried by the teacher, having to explain vocabulary from the text book (in Chinese, of course) and complete short dialogues using spesific grammar or expressions. And then we also had to give a small speech about a chosen topic.

I spoke about my speaking partner.

This is a video of me practising, shot at 6 in the morning yesterday.

(NB! If you actually know Chinese, you probably don't want to watch this)

It'll be exciting to get the results of the exams!

Outside our classroom,
tourists visiting the campus of Beijing University
pass by all the time
and ask to get their photos taken with
"the foreigners",

So during breaks in between classes,
when being outside to get a breath of "fresh air"
(or warm and humid, more likely)
All the Norwegians have had to pose with
Chinese people

We've almost felt like animals at a zoo, sometimes

But I am certainly not the one to say anything,
considering how many photos
'I' take of strangers,

So we had to say goodbye to 乌龟 (wugui, "turtle")
the schoolyard cat

He/she is a very friendly cat,
alway up for a snuggle

The other day I had a chat with the 5-year-old daughter of our cleaning lady (yeah, we have a cleaning lady, lol)

I'm better at taking photos rather than shooting videos.

So, on my way home from the final day at summer school yesterday, my bike croaked for the fourth time.

But I was so HAPPY!! The bike has been fine for, like, the past three weeks - so I knew a new croak had to be near. I was just so thankful it happened on the way home on a sunny day - and not in the morning on the way to take my exams.

So I took it to see the bike-doctor.

Haha, when I first came to China something was wrong with my bike, like, twice a week - so I became a familiar face in the area around the bike-doctor's shop.

He always heads over to his magic box,
to dig for whatever he needs
to fix my bike

A hammer solves 'any' bike problem in China

A little squirt of oil

And then he took my bike for a ride
and it was ready to go

He doesn't even let me pay him,

Maybe because I draw a lot of attention
to his shop,
by people passing by


Happy 2nd birthday, blog! :D

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Acrylics & The Road to School



The other day I went to the nearby mall to accompany Lotte as she got acrylics for the first time.

Lotte said it felt like slowly getting your finger
jammed by the door

A completely random and highly uninteresting video in NORWEGIAN, you request? Why, here you go!

Following is a few photos from my way to school. They show I can take pictures just for the sake of documenting something too. They're butt ugly.

The baozi-lady

My thigh, my bike, my bag and my baozis.

The campus is enourmous
and I'm very glad I have a bike

Our classroom is in the building to the right

Some guy doing his morning excerise
in the parking lot

The cat we've named 乌龟

The desks are so low,
I can't sit straight with my legs in front of me
Or it will be balancing in my lap

Dragon fruit for breakfast

Green tea

And veggie baozis


A rope dangling in front of my bedroom window
- I live on the 17th floor

A guy painting

The End

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hanging Out in Sanlitun

Ingeborg, Klara and I

Yesterday Lotte and I went with our neighbors and Norwegian classmates Klara and Ingeborg to a part of town called Sanlitun, to have a look around.

Too bad I didn't get pretty until I was too old to model
- look at those posing skills! Admirable

Ingeborg had a close encounter with the pavement earlier this week,
being in a minor accident on her skateboard.

Mmm, dog stew

The first week in Beijing we sat in the park outside our building
together with the real estate agent waiting for our landlord
A bunch of people were out with their dogs,
I made sure to point to one of them and ask the real estate agent deliberately like a stupid tourist
"That one, delicious?"
And he looked at me and terrified waved his hand "No!!"
And then I laughed an evil laugh.
(Mind you, he'd already spent a few hours with me
that very same day and knew I was kidding)

But seriously,
when in Rome, ehr China

I'll eat anything as long as it's food, tastes good and doesn't get me sick

But I doubt that I'll come across dog meat being sold
here in Beijing, anyway
- at least not on my path

Besides, due to the one-child policy in China,
people have dogs instead and treat them as their kids
I doubt they'd eat them

In the middle of all of the fancy shops and buildings there were a big water fountain thing where a lot of kids were playing

Admiring the fountain

Coming over for a snuggle