The first week was crazy busy, with lots of catching up and character memorization, an editing job for an MD trying to get his article published in a US medical journal, late nights (not going out) and a long weekend of later nights and not enough sleep. Sunday night I finally got a good 7 hours of sleep but all week i've been working with 5 or 6. yesterday i had a great ride to work, where i had a chat with a student of mine as we biked along yi huan lu, saw the owner of jia bar, who told me to be careful, and then explained the american name for coca-cola to the dude i buy a bottle of coke from every day before work. it was pretty funny explaining that it basically comes from two nuts. his daughter was also listening, helping him out when my putonghua failed me and i needed to gesture in order to get the idea of "nut" across (i pointed to a package of peanuts). it was a short sequence of events that really showed me that i live here, this is my home, and i'm, in a sense, a local. i regularly explain where restaurants and bars are in my neighborhood, talk about the best restaurants and dishes in chengdu, give taxi drivers directions when they don't know where to go (this is rare), etc.
after work i went to my girlfriend's house, we went out for seafood, had a great time, my face hurt from laughing and smiling so much. i've also tried to speak more and more chinese with her, now making it more of a routine than an exception. so yeah, a nice long relaxing dinner, then stayed over at her place, got up and made it to class early today, talked with a movie casting-director looking for foreign actors for a movie, gave him my number, chatted for like five minutes. class was alright, listening is really hard as there is quite a lot of vocab and precise words that i don't know, like when to use "just (now)" when it means earlier than expected and when it means later than expected. gotta love little nuances like this. chinese is efficient though - they just add a word to differentiate. after class, i went home, chatted with sam, we went over to alex's and woke up rick, who got in from HK last night. we had lunch at green dragon, then i got a haircut, went to the bookworm and had a coffee outside, studied chinese for like 45 minutes, then went to edu's roof, where we did some muay thai training for like an hour and a half. then i biked to work, where i'm writing this now. i'm looking forward to a few beers after work, celebrating the imminent arrival of friday. i love being in school, even if it is hard as fuck.