Three Months Into Life In China
Getting Ready to Spend the Holidays in China
Yeah it’s that far already. Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas will be here in a matter of weeks. Though not much has drastically changed from the last post I wrote, there are still notable lifestyle changes that have happened. In just a little over a month this first semester in Dalian will have been completed as well. Here’s just a couple daily differences since my last post of life in China.
New Daily Adventures
Life in China at the Gym
Once you move somewhere you have to learn to adjust with the new surroundings and of course cultural differences. Of course there are things you miss as well from the West. However, I finally found a gym in the middle of November. No excuses for not getting into one earlier, there were just other priorities and it did start getting a little too chilly for the early morning jogs to the seaside. Gym life in China though, it’s unlike any other. As it seems like with mall setups in China, literally everything you need seems to be at the very top floors, yes the very top floors. Unlike in the West where major restaurant chains and gyms would be on the main level as an anchor location, China takes a different approach with this.
My gym isn’t fancy or anything and has most the essentials you need. Once I take three sets of escalators to my gym floor, a young Chinese lady always makes sure I hand her my purple gym card to slide. I haven’t been allowed to slide the card myself once. No pleasantries, just give me your card and in you go. I then usually start my workout with a cardio session and hit the gym room. It’s a hit or miss if you’ll get a full room of working lights. Sometimes just a few will flicker by to get you enough light early in the morning or late at night to see yourself in the mirror. The process has been interesting enough getting used to kilos to lift instead of pounds. It kinda reminds me of my time in Prague in the old Soviet gyms.
However, one of my favorite parts of my workout is the old Chinese men who just have to stand next to you as you lift only to take your dumbbells as soon as you finish one set. Please just take the foreigner’s equipment every time he takes a twenty second break. Chinese aren’t known for being particularly on top of repairs or making things more visually appealing either. At this point I’ve gotten used to hearing a small screech with every cable pull. The ab machine has also been more of a workout than I thought as well having to balance myself in the middle to stop from falling over. Can we just replace the plastic knob please? However, I am still able to get a workout in which I am more than happy to be able to accomplish.
Go-to Food Joints and 24/7 Photos
Life in China wouldn’t be as exciting without all the delicious food around you. Being here for three months has definitely allowed me to pick up a routine of where I go to after a workout or after certain classes. I have my favorite breakfast joint on campus where the manager always has my Chinese chicken steak, bok choy, boiled egg, and cup of coffee ready. Then there’s Hei Shi Jiao which the neighborhood right near the East entrance with its plethora of scrumptious restaurants. The managers and I now have that sort telepathic moment where they kinda look at me as if they know what’s coming. Makes it all the easier I guess.
My icloud storage has slowly dwindled with the constant amount of photos I take. Of course, having my mother who is a foodie herself always asking me what I’ve eaten for the day has gotten me into a well, Chinese habit. Taking pictures of every new meal I eat, or when I just feel like sharing something. I have so many food photos on my phone now, but I just can’t seem to delete them. Who knows when I’ll have to show someone what I ate other than my mom.
However, I’ve got just about as many food photos as my math class photos. Our Chinese professors seem to think the foreign students process these multiple layers of formulas as soon as they read them. Two seconds later the whiteboard is full and the teacher is immediately reaching for the eraser. I have to say, my reaction of going from reaching for the phone to multiple angle snapshots over other students hairdos has gotten pretty good.
Life in China Wrap Up
Just based off these few basic routines I feel like I’ve written more than enough. Obviously there is much more to share and I will ty to frequent my writing more. It’s finally starting to get speckles of snow here and there. We’ll see what the winter in Dalian really comes to be. If you didn’t see my last post for two months in China here it is.