I got through my first week!
Classes were... hard- verrry hard. The teachers here would assign 80-100 characters a day to memorize. Note: assigned vocabulary. That is not including all the characters in the daily reading that I don't recognize. To keep you from slacking off, they give a quiz everyday on the vocabulary and the reading. Plus, the size of the classes is very small. I am usually in class with only four other people, so the odds of me getting called every other minute for three hours are ridiculously high. Stressssful to the nth degree.
Am I learning? Yes. Definitely.
I really do like the teachers though. There is Zhu1 laoshi, the director. She's the one who gives me money to eat every week. :-) Then, we have a Hao3 laoshi, who is just really happy allll the time (hao3 means 'good').
The participants here are pretty awesome too. I've met a lot of new people from all over the country with whom I have become fast friends.
What do I eat? Well, life is pretty good since I have to eat out pretty much every meal. I found this jiaozi (dumpling) stand nearby that is incredible! The cost of one order of jiaozi is only 3RMB (which converts to just under 40 cents). As a result, I've eaten there three times in the last two days. :-D
This weekend, I went to but not in Tiananmen Square. Since i've been there before and with all the construction going on for the '08 Olympics, it is just not worth seeing. Instead, I went shopping. Yay! My friends and I went to XiuShui, the mecca for counterfeit items. Well, I guess that is China in general. I bought two Polos for around 30RMB each, Armani wallet for 20RMB, and sunglasses for 20RMB. The salesperson's starting price for these three items were all way over 100RMB. Haggling, it's fantastic!
This thursday: the GREAT WALL! Can't wait!