Maria Holland

Are You A Mechanical Engineering Student?

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2009 at 12:31 am

Today I decided to make a friend.  I went out in search of the engineering building, which turned out to be about as close to my dorm here as Keplinger Hall is to my apartment at TU.  Figures.  I went in and wandered around for a little while, soaking in the decor (which makes KEP seem extremely aesthetically appealing).  Finally the guard, who was quite conspicuously following me, asked me what I was looking for.  I said I was looking for a Chinese engineering student to study Chinese and English with.  I was whisked into a room where I happened to meet a junior ME student who was excited to hear my request.  I may have mentioned that several Chinese men have been creepy to me here, but I was really impressed with this guy.  He actually called a friend because he thought that she would be better for me to work with, walked me over to meet her, and offered to walk me back to my dorm.  All without being creepy in the slightest – someone give China a point!  Anyway, Chinese college students don’t seem to have much sense of a weekend, so we’re meeting on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. 

It wasn’t hot enough to kill today, so I bought a lime-honey drink and sat in front of the KFC reviewing vocab until I met up with a friend, Eunjeong, for lunch.  She brought a Chinese friend, who took us to a "New York Fusion Food" Restaurant, where we had pineapple rice and curry.  Definitely reminded me of New York . . . not.  I was really impressed with the restaurant, mainly because it was so clean-looking that it warranted comment from all of us, until we saw roaches scurrying up and down the walls. 

This friend asked me about the differences between Chinese and American people.  I took the opportunity first to tell her that Americans don’t like to talk about money, age, or weight – the #1 cultural point that I think should be taught in English classes.  I also told her that female Chinese students dress up way more than Americans, which was the perfect segue into telling her about Skirt Week (裙子星期)!  According to facebook, 76 people will be attending, but based on my observations here I’m going to go ahead and count 1/4 of the population of China as participants.  This means, if my calculations are correct, this year’s event is going to be slightly bigger than we’ve ever had before. 

We also talked a little bit about American music, movies, and TV shows.  She told me that Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City are the most famous TV shows in China, which made me kind of sad.  She said that Lie to Me and Big Bang Theory are also really popular, which surprised me.  I’ve barely even heard of them.  I don’t want much TV, but are they big in America?

After class this afternoon, I went to put some more money on my phone.  As I walked over to the conveniently-located China Mobile store to use their convenient automated machines, I was thinking to myself how convenient it all was.  In theory at least . . . I managed to put money on but was told that it is impossible to see a detailed account statement until the month is over, which is up there with the stupid things phone companies do in America.  This discovery came only after 15 minutes of dealing with instructions entirely in Chinese and the least helpful employee ever, who at one point walked away from me while I was asking a question.  Argh.

I joined a few friends for dinner and we started planning our trip for the upcoming National Day holiday.  October 1st is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and in celebration, I am going to Taiwan.  Haha!  I’m going with Carlos from Spain, Alice from Austria, and Diedrick from Holland.  I’m really excited for our trip!

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  1. I’ve never seen Lie To Me, but I think it’s on FOX. Bog Bang Theory is on CBS, and I’ve never seen it either, but I’ve heard it’s really funny. I guess it’s about a bunch of nerds trying to get girls to go out with them… at least that’s what I gather.

  2. I have watched Lie to me — you know me and crime-solving shows. It is a show about a psychologist or something who reads body language to help solve crimes.

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