Friday, September 16, 2005
The Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid Test
The greater part of the last two weeks has been spent in an almost valiant effort at re-acclimating myself to being both an American and and American student, neither of which has been either especially inviting or especially easy. I miss my baozi, I miss my friends in Shanghai, I miss speaking Chinese with silly taxi drivers. And I miss the sense of adventure that accompanies every step I take when I'm in China. It sounds odd, but I really miss that sense of not knowing that hovers over me everywhere I go, like anything at all could happen and very often does. Life here just seems so...normal, and I'm not entirely sure I've got a grasp on how to get used to it again.
Of course, part of the issue may in fact be that I wouldn't have the luxury of completely leaving China behind even if I wanted it. I wasn't a tourist, I was there because a big part of my life was already in China before I even set foot there. And I've had to spend a huge chunk of my time in the last two weeks reviewing for a Chi
nese placement test that I had to take today. So while I have no shortage of Chinese friends who are eager in every way to help me prepare - which I am eternally grateful for, by the way - and certainly have had no shortage of things to study, I'm finding that miring myself so deeply in such a stressful situation, especially one in which I have to tangle myself so completely in the culture that I just left, it probably doesn't do much for the re-acclimation process.
Tests, I might add, suck. I won't know the results until Tuesday, but let's just say I've prepared myself for the worst.
We did, however, go to the zoo on Wednesday, and the boys just stood and watched us with raised eyebrows as Amy and I had little conversations with and cooed over all the animals. It was a good day to go; a lot of the animals who are normally sleeping decided to get up and walk around, so we got good pictures of the grizzly bear and the wolf for the first time ever. It's kind of nice to have another animal-loving girl around. Now I can watch "The Planet's Funniest Animals" without feeling guilty.