Maria Holland

The 300

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 12:14 am

It is the second day of June, I live on a tropical island, and I wore my winter coat to dinner.  What is wrong with this picture? 

The weather this year has been 怪怪的 – or in English, freaking weird. 

I remember our confidence that it would be warm when we returned from our winter break on March 1st.  When that didn’t happen, we figured it would be warm by April.  But then another month passed and we decided that surely May would be warm.  A look through my journal reveals at least three confident predictions that summer is here for good: February 24th, April 25th, and May 4th.  It took this long, but I finally concede that I have no freaking idea; at this point, all bets are off.

That’s not to say we haven’t had nice days.  In fact, those nice days just make this all the weirder, making promises it doesn’t intend to keep.  I think back to my parents’ visit in January, when we biked along the beach on an almost-hot day.  Or those couple perfect days in February that welcomed me back to Xiamen after a rough return from Beijing, when we barbecued outside.  Or the day after class in March when we unanimously decided that ice cream and the beach had to happen immediately.  Or the unfortunate day in May when I climbed a mountain in wool leggings and nearly died. 

In a way, the weather has offered us lots of second chances.  We keep having our ‘last’ hotpot, our ‘last’ bowl of malatang.  We got to see Eunice’s new tailor-made trenchcoat today, even though it was finished after the warm weather was “definitely here to stay”. 

But still, it’s annoying to have to keep pulling out my leggings, to find my coat after putting it away, and to regret throwing away the gel heater I had.


I had to spend an unfortunate amount of time outside today, a cold rainy day that just begs to be spent in bed.  I had class, then we went to lunch, then I had class again, then I had to stop by the travel agency, and then I had dinner with Shawn.  I had a harder time conversing with him today, switching to English occasionally and hating my Chinese frequently.  I think I’ve become more critical of my own Chinese ability since the HSK, which is something I’m kind of scared about.  I’m ashamed of my Spanish, which means I never speak it – but possibly my greatest strength in Chinese is my confidence and eagerness to speak.  If I lose that, what do I have – a 7 on the HSK?  But that score feels meaningless when I use 了 incorrectly or when I, for heaven’s sake, say 月 when I mean 号.


And with that, we come to the end of this post – the 300th entry in this journal!  For those of you faithful readers, this means you have read over 500 pages of my thoughts.  Sorry about that . . . 

  1. Sorry it’s cold there but glad we had good weather back in January. That’s what was really important!

    BTW – It would be nice to read about some of your blog stats towards the end of your stay…how many, how many readers, how many comments, etc.

  2. 500 pages?!? They flew by!
    WHO says 月 when they mean 号???! Hey, don’t be too hard on yourself; how many times do we say the wrong thing in ENGLISH or be unable to think of the word we want to say in ENGLISH! So maybe you can’t be a deep spy ‘cuz you don’t look Chinese AND they’ll trip you up on the 号/月 or doorknob thing BUT look at all you CAN do!

  3. I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with your Chinese language skills. If you make a few mistakes every now and then it’s ok. Just be proud of your many accomplishments and keep on talking and writing! And I hope the weather improves soon.
    Love, Aunt Pat

  4. and all 300 have been a delight!
    thanks for sharing :)

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