Subject: miss you all!!
Ni Hao (hello) friends and family!!!
I don't know how long this email is going to be, because I have to go to dinner shortly. I just wanted to give you a little update on how I am doing and let you know that "yes, I am still alive."
Yesterday was our first day going further into the city and it was really exciting. We went to this store called Carrefore. They carry some american brands. Again, I feel like an alien in this country. EVERYONE stares and not just like a glance and then look away. It's a full on wide eyed stare and they dont stop and until we are completely out of site. weird.While in the store we saw some of the craziest stuff. Men were sticking there hands in these huge tanks of LIVE fish and eels. This man was trying to pick up and eel and it kept slipping out of his hand and dropping on the floor. I couldn't help but start laughing. His wife looked at me and started laughing too. It was great. A couple of us girls decided to go back earlier then some of the others so we got a copy of our address in mandarin and showed the taxi driver and just prayed that he took us to the right place. I have never feared for my life more then I did when I was in that taxi. No joke. They have no concept of staying in their own lane, they drive wherever they want too. They don't stop for pedestrians...honestly, we came within INCHES of a woman and her child. You couldn't pry my hand off of the door if you tried. They wait till the last possible second to stop AND they drive on the sidewalks to get around the hundreds of buses. I really can't put into words how scared we were for our lives....i think we might do it again soon. haha. We got home from Carrefore shortly before dinner. I am getting more used to the food, but it still is very hard for me to eat. We eat in a cafeteria with the other faculty from the school (they are all chinese) and they always point and laugh when they see us try to eat with our chopsticks. I really am not as bad as I thought I would be. The funny thing is...us white kids are the only ones eating with chopsticks.haha...seriously, all the chinese teachers have forks and spoons. I think they do it on purpose for a good laugh. haha, I ok with it. I will be a PRO next time I go to PF Changs. After dinner was my absolute favorite part of my trip so far. Aleksi and I decided to walk around the track before going back to our apartment and these two little girls (probably 6) ran up to us. "teacha, teacha...wus yo name?" they started giving us hugs and holding our hands. It was great. I guess they get like a break/recess after dinner so there were tons of kids. So our group decided to play with all of them until they had to go inside. They loved it. They kept wanting us to tickle them and chase them around and play with our hair. It was a lot of fun and good way to burn some of the calories we have been NOT been eating. Anyway so I am running around with all these girls and all of a sudden I get this hard slap to the butt. HAHA...I hurry and turn around and there is this little chubby chinese boy just dying laughing. haha...I was just so shocked but I couldn't help but laugh. He did it to one other girl in my group. Apparently it's hilarious to them....and to us. It went by way too fast because before we knew it they were being yelled at by their chinese teachers to get inside. It was so fun to play with the kids, we all decided that we are going to make that a tradition that everynight after dinner we have recess with them. I think it means a lot to them that we do, because none of the adults will play with them. I already can tell that it is going to be so easy to love these kids. They really made up for anything that hasn't gone right so far. Alright, well I still have lots to say but dinner is in 5 so i gotta go. I love you all!! -Cortney