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Homestay weekend

So far, my trip to China has been a really fun and cool experience. This past weekend has brought many memories. Many of the places I visited were very fun to explore with both the students and Richard’s parents. My first official day on Saturday, I went with a group of the exchange students to Nanluoxiang, a shopping street in the city. There, we searched for both cool shops for souvenirs and for new foods to eat, which I did for most of the time. Some of the foods I tried in Nanluoxiang included a mango and rose ice cream bar, durian cakes (not very good), a fresh mango smoothie, strawberries on a stick that were glazed with a sugar shell, and my favorite, stinky tofu with garlic, spicy sauce, and cilantro. It was great fun exploring the street with a group of friends, for we shared the experience together. I also had a great time exploring the Olympic Park from the Beijing 2008 Olympics with Richard’s parents at nighttime. At the time, Richard was busy studying for school after dinner, so his parents offered to show me the Olympic Park, since it was most optimally seen at night. When we got to the park, it was illuminated in a variety of colors. The center for the water events shone a deep blue, and the Bird’s Nest was decorated with different colored lighting. In the park, half the fun was taking tons of pictures with Richard’s parents (his dad reminds me of my mom with the amount of photos he took) and the other half was learning to communicate with his parents by talking through Google Translate and using different grunts and gestures. I feel that I really bonded with the parents that night. Some of the dinners have also been very memorable. The first night after we had just landed in Beijing, Richard took me to dinner with a group of the exchange students, and they ordered a bunch of different foods for us to try. Everyone was shocked to see all the stuff I was willing to try, which included very stinky tofu with coagulated duck blood and the eyeball of a fish. I also really enjoyed learning how to do hot pot with Richard, where I had to take raw meat and hold it in boiling water to cook it and then, when it was done, dip it into the Beijing style dipping sauce. Pig intestine was my favorite meat. Overall, this past weekend has been so much fun, and I can’t wait to see what memories the rest of the week at school will bring.