Honors College

QINGDAO “Sunday, mop day”

Today was super laid back and wonderful.  It was Sunday, which is a day I always love.  I woke up at like 7 and went to the bathroom, and was wonderfully able to go back to sleep.  This is the first time I have been able to sleep in here!  I’ve been waking up at like 6:30, 7 every day just naturally and it has been good, but super weird.  I woke up for good at like 9:30, got online, checked my email and Skyped who ever was on (you should really get Skype and add me if you haven’t yet, I love to hear from people), and then decided to download some podcasts that my home church from Columbia always puts up because I haven’t figured out where the church is here yet. 

I listened to Mike Acock’s sermon “Why Jesus Came: So we could see the Father”.  It was really great and a lot of what he said lined up with how my devotions are going and really encouraged me to just enjoy being in relationship with my heavenly Father, instead of feeling like I constantly need to fix everything I do and have everything be a “teachable moment”.  It was really freeing – I am once again relearning the grace lesson :) 

I played some Tetris online, which is a great way to pass the time, and talked to one of my friends from Guatemala who is thinking about coming to a university in MO, which would be totally awesome.  We were talking about the merits of different languages and he was laughing at me because he knows I can’t communicate here yet. 

Then my dad got on and we figured out how I can watch movies with him over Skype, which was pretty cool, and I taught him how I created the excel file that I am keeping track of my finances with here, which is pretty cool if I do say so myself :)

Laura finally woke up, just in time for lunch, and we all went to the dining hall together.  They had a super yummy egg and tomato soupy thing that was really, really good because it was actually hot and I loved it and got it again for dinner.  SO good.  Most of the time, when you get food here in the dorm, you just kind of guess what it is because it is usually a mix of meat and vegetables and you just have no idea what you are eating and so far I haven’t seen the same thing two days in a row, which is good if you don’t like stuff, and not so much if you don’t.  But so far there have only been a few things I haven’t really cared for and hardly anything that I won’t eat. 

We went back to our room and got our laundry together (I haven’t done laundry yet and I only brought 3 pairs of athletic shorts and not much tank tops and ya, I needed to do laundry pretty bad) It was pretty exciting.  The washing machines are pretty cute, but it took us awhile to decipher what the buttons did and how we should set it up so that the laundry would work!  It is crazy how even the smallest and simplest of tasks is made more difficult and confusing when in a country that uses little pictures as words.  We got them started to our satisfaction and went upstairs, guessing from the timers that it would take an hour or so.  I decided to study a bit and listen to another podcast.  I ended up getting sleepy and nappingish while I listened to the pod cast and I didn’t get much studying done, which was fine. 

Jim was super nice and brought up my laundry because it finished and I hadn’t set an alarm.  I then decided to go buy clothes pins and hang my clothes out on our roof.  I took my books with me and sat out on the roof even though there is a sign that literally says “No staying and playing on the roof”, but rules are made to be broken, so we do :)

My laundry really never dried adequately because it was very overcast and the air was pretty moist.  I got frustrated with it and was hungry for dinner, so brought it all in a pile and dropped it on my bed and went to dinner with everyone. 

Jim decided he wanted to have a purpose to our very lackadaisical day, so we decided to go to this store call RT Mart and get a router for the internet because we have to share with Laura and Kellen, and I wanted a knife because I forgot to bring one to make PB&J’s. 

It is very, very dusty here, and we decided to Wal-Mart it up and just wander through every aisle.  We saw some mops in one of the aisles and thought that that looked like a pretty good idea, because our dorm rooms are gross, so we decided to take a look.  There were three employees of RT Mart standing by a not very big part of the aisle devoted to mops.  When they realized that we were interested in mops, one of the guys picked up a mop and began demonstrating how it worked.  I told him I didn’t speak much Chinese “Wo shuo yi diar Zhongwen”, but that didn’t seem to deter him at all, he just started gesturing and yelling about what it did, opening and closing the thing to show us how it worked.  Then, one of the other guys picked up a different mop and started yelling over the first guy, saying something about how much more durable it was, and then the third guy jumped in with yet another mop he had picked up, and they all started banging the mops on the floor to show us how they wouldn’t break, and demonstrating how you could push down really hard on them to clean spots off the floor and it was just crazy!  Jim and I were standing there, attempting to hear each other over the mop salesmen and discussing how much they cost all while these three guys made like a half circle around us, vigorously yelling in Chinese and showing us all of the different features of each mop!  It was so ridiculous!!!  I was just standing there, attempting to follow what they were trying to communicate to me, and wishing probably the most I have ever wished for candid camera. 

We settled on one of the very eagerly demonstrated mops, and when we did, they stopped yelling, we said thank you, and just walked off.  Neither of the guys who hadn’t sold a mop seemed disappointed in the least, and there didn’t seem to be any way for the man who had just sold his mop to get any sort of credit or reward for being the best salesman.  I was baffled, because there were three men devoted to banging mops on the floor while yelling at customers, and yet there did not seem to be a point to it at all, except for maybe to intimidate the customer into carrying a mop away just to get them to stop yelling! 

We finished wandering around the store and made our other purchases and then headed home, where I promptly dry mopped our nasty, dusty floor, hung up my damp laundry, and felt much better.  I took a shower and got ready for bed, then typed some more on this update so I can send it to you!  In a few hours I have my first class of the week, and I am excited for what new things I will learn and experiences I will have.  Thank you for joining me on this journey and for loving and supporting me, you guys are the greatest!

 

Zaijian and good night,

Rachel