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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Today was good. I had my class with the other teachers. Most of their English is good, but some of
them need a lot of work. My other class this evening with third year students was a lot of fun. They can
speak fairly well. Just need a lot of work on their pronunciation. I ate some chicken and cabbage soup for
lunch today. It was piping hot. Burnt my mouth. I thought that I was ordering eggplant, but I guess that
I pointed to the wrong thing as she brought me a huge pot of chicken and cabbage soup. It was delicious, but I had stomach cramps the rest of the afternoon. They use a lot of spices here that we could not even
imagine, but my stomach was not used to them. In any case, it was one of the best soups of my life. The
only problem is that there is often just way to much. They bring enough out to feed four people. I have been leaving large portions behind as I just can not eat it all. I enjoyed the meal though. I just feel guilty
afterwards. It was extremely cold today. Dress Pants do not keep you warm even with the long johns underneath. I was still very cold. What is worse is that the classes are not heated very well some are not heated at all, so the rooms can get quite chilly. None of the hallways or corridors are heated, and they are very cold especially since there are no doors to shut as they use blankets to cover the doorways. I do not
understand why they do this, but they do it everywhere. There are doors to the buildings, but they
use blankets instead then close the doors when they leave for the evening. It makes everything very cold.
I about froze at the restaurant today as they would not close the damn door. I wanted to go shut it for
them. All the teachers and students at the campus leave their jackets on inside in order to stay warm. I
do the same as well, but sometimes I just instinctively take it off. It does not take long for me to put it right back on. Besides the cold, I seem to stick out among all of the populace. I am the token white kid. Children run up to me in the streets and pose with me while their pictures are being taken. Adults will stare for awhile. If someone knows English, they will stop and talk. Then, they will give me their office, home, and cell phone numbers and tell me to call them if I need anything at all. I have the phone numbers of five strangers that I met on the street or at a restaurant. I am not sure that I would ever give anyone my phone number. My e-mail address maybe, but even then, I would have to think about it. The people here are very nice. I like them a lot. They are all eager to lend a helping hand. The women here are very interesting. They remind me of women from either the sixties of the world war II generation. Probably the sixties. It is like the women's liberation movement has not yet occurred, but you can feel the electricity for it in the air. These girls have dreams and ambitions, and they do not plan to ride side saddle to any man. China is the rising Dragon of the East, and it's body is all woman. Oh well must go, Talk to you tomorrow.

Love Christopher

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