Friday, January 24, 2014

A day in the life of a foreign student in Kunming

Classes have started!
I am stressed out already, because my Chinese class is way too hard for me. Yes, I can easily keep a conversation with people on the street, but I am not yet ready to talk about bank loans and argue about the beauty industry. Despite all that I have finished my first very stressful week. It started with snow fall and ended with a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius today.
Yunnan has no indoor heating and it was truly freezing. The worst part was to get out of my semi-warm bed in the morning and take a moderately warm shower in my broken bath tub.

But I treated myself to a massage today and just had a whiskey so the world is already a much better place. I truly love this place. Kunming is just absolutely great. I think the best description is that its the California of China. Everyone is chill and easy going. There is a prominent punk and artist culture that keeps this city special. I wouldn't know a better place to spend my next 5 months.

Here is what a day last week looked like for me:

1- (6.30) Good Morning! First order of business is getting myself to undress in the cold and take a shower. I was moved a couple days ago because my tub apparently was about to crack in half....

2- (7:00)Getting dressed: Here is what I wore on Monday, which was the coldest day. It reached just below freezing for most of the day. There was snow fall and sitting in a cold room for 4 hours is truly no fun. But we got one heater so now class is much more enjoyable.

3- (7.30) BREAKFAST! Mixian with chicken and Tofu skin. Absolutely amazing and lasts for a surprisingly long time. The great thing about Chinese food is you never feel full, but it lasts for much longer than western food does. (I usually eat in the dark, since I get up before sunrise)
4- (8.30)Class! Chinese Class and then regional development class. all together 8.30 - 12.30 with one hour time for lunch. (Don't judge my essay. I am hoping my Chinese will get better)

5- (12.30) LUNCH. Food is simply amazing. I took this picture in Dali, but Lamian (pull noodles) are just as delicious in Kunming. Freshly pulled when ordered they are simply amazing. I usually get them with fresh vegetables and meat. AMAAAAZING.

6- (2.30) After another hour of one-on-one Chinese I head to the nearest cafe to get some work done. Right now it takes me about 4 hours to completely memorize 70 characters. (With writing of course) On top of that usually come Chinese Homework and around 60 pages of reading.

7- (7:00) DINNER! Best Dumplings I have ever had. Also freshly made when ordered these are simply amazing. The restaurant looks like you will get intense food poisoning, but in China you usually get the worst stomach problems from restaurants that appear super clean. These dumplings are killllller.

7- (9:00) Hot chocolate and more studying at the local (totally hipster) bookstore. But the hot chocolate is also simply amazing. Plus they have a giant heating lamp and its the only place that has good (if not any) heating.

8- (10:00) Going back to my room to do more studying in the cold. I try to be in bed by 11.30pm, because it simply got too cold afterwards.

Bonus Picture:
I LOOOVE lotus root and this restaurant knows how to do it right: With pickled vegetables and chilly panfried to perfection.

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