Getting ready

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
the cool room

Flag of China  , Heilongjiang,
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I've decided to rest a little bit. Considering the amount of sleep I've been getting, my body apperantly has needed it.

Wednesday I didn't bike, but I did head on out for a long walk. Since it's summer everyone is outside again. Of course, that means tons of people staring at me. It's too warm to comfortably wear a mask. Just for your reference, when I wear a mask I'll notice maybe one person an hour staring at me. When I don't wear the mask I'll get one person every 3 seconds, and a flat out *I'm staring at you like a impolite doufus even though you're staring back at me* about once every 5 minutes or less.

One strange thing, though, is the difference in the city folk and the country folk. First thing is that when people in the city are suprised to see a foreigner many will stare. When I am in the country side, very very few will stare. Obviously I see many, many more people in the city, so that will skew my resutls. But I can't think of the last time I was in the countryside and saw a Chinese guy impolitely staring at me (staring is impolite in China). The second is the most surprising. The story goes that the Dongbei accent is the cleanest Chinese accent in China. However, people in the city, unless highly educated, have a horrible accent and some don't even speak Mandarin (Mandarin is the common local language, unlike some cities in the south). When out in the country side I have yet to run into a person that I couldn't understand. I've also yet to run into a person that couldn't understand me. Obviously, my countryside sample is much smaller, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Thursday I decided not to do any long trips outside. I'm not the only person getting sick of how foreigners are being treated here. One of my friends, who was planning on leaving, told me that she was thinking about coming back, but to a different school. One day later China got the best of her again and she for the final time realized that China is not the best for her. Even some of the foreigners who have been here for the long term have suprised me. When I have stated that I was going to leave here for good they replied with something similar. Basically it revolved around us just getting taken advantage of, being given very subpar contracts and then being expect to go above and beyond it. Pretty much, the worse you are paid, the worse the school will treat you and the more work you are expected to do.

Anywho, I decided to do some indoor biking. In hopes to try to reduce the amount of reverse culture shock I will experience I decided to finally watch Ken Burn's series on baseball. It's a good thing to watch while on the stationary bike (Much better than actual baseball, I think).

The rest of the week and the weekend was fairly relaxed. I've been tired and I'm starting to prep my departure home (2 weeks till I'm in the US).

A friend of mine told me of a youtube video of noting but Chinese car crashes. This video clearly shows what I see at every intersection every day. People just walk into the street or disobey a red (sometimes they'll look once when doing that). Literally, nothing is abnormal here. People really are this clueless.
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