So yesterday, after teaching, we did a lot of things that were mainly just for fun, rather than some of the other cultural events and student performances.  We had a basketball game against the Chinese teachers.  There is a shot of me, taking a shot.  As you can imagine, I was pretty much the star of the game, and all of the players (on both teams, really) were in awe of my abilities on offense as well as defense.  The game actually ended in a tie, but that's only because I subbed out a few times to give some of my teammates a chance to score some points.  It's really not fair for me to play the whole game - I'm sure you understand.  (*Note: if you happen to talk to anyone else who went on this trip with me, it's probably best that you don't talk to them about my performance in the basketball game.  It will probably just make them feel bad about their own basketball skills, and I don't want to hurt their feelings.  Yeah.)

After that, we went to the Aushan Market.  This place is crazy.  The bottom level is a bunch of nice, "Western" style stores, that are pretty expensive.  It's like going to a mall.  We ate at a pizza hut there.  Pizza hut is pretty big here - I mean, it's no KFC... but it's big.  This pizza hut was actually awesome.  It was the biggest and nicest pizza hut that I've ever been in.  They have essentially the same menu as an American pizza hut, but a few strange things.  My pizza, for example, had sausage, chicken, mushroom, green pepper, and corn.  Yep, corn.  Stuffed crust style, which I love.  We also got these small, fried, chicken things.  They looked like popcorn chicken, but they definitely had a distinct "Chinese" taste to them.  They were served with a sauce that was called "Buffalo sauce" but it was sort of like a mix between midwestern BBQ sauce and sweet and sour sauce.  The waitress didn't speak a word of English, so we did a lot of pointing and other hand motions.  And surprisingly, all 6 of our orders came out exactly as we had intended to order!  Other than an extra side of calimari that we ended up with.

Then, after that, we went to the second level of the market.  This is where the real magic happens.  It's hard to describe this experience to someone who hasn't been there.  Imagine WalMart.  Now imagine a packed amusement park.  Multiply those things by 5.  Then add some bizarre Chinese things, and give everyone walking around the same mentality that the crazy drivers over here have.  This is the second level of the Aushan Market.  We bought a bunch of little cheap things - again, it's essentially the equivalent of going to a WalMart.  But there were also a bunch of little live demonstrations of "as seen on tv" products, just happening in the middle of the aisles.  They have a butcher shop with chickens hanging in the window, beef hearts, and other meats that I didn't even recognize.

Overall, it was quite an experience.  After that, we had to catch a cab home.  Again, just like with the waitress at pizza hut, he spoke no English.  We had a card from the hotel to show him where we wanted to go, and we ended up quite close to that hotel when he dropped us off, ha ha.  Troy sat in the front of the cab, and he was "talking" to the guy pretty much the whole way home.  The cab driver would say something in Chinese, and Troy would repeat one of the words that he picked out - usually pretty poorly - and then the cab driver would say "dui" which means something like "correct."  And then we'd drive on for a little while longer.  Then Troy would get bored and say something to the guy.  Troy only knows a couple of phrases, so he would say - again, probably pretty poorly - "I am hungry" "I am tired" and "I love China" alternately.  I'm not sure if the driver understood any of it or not, but he would start rattling off more Chinese, to which Troy would respond by either saying his phrase again or just randomly trying to repeat other stuff.  Ron, Steve, and I, in the back of the cab, were just laughing at the whole situation.  At one point, Troy reached over the glass that separated the driver from the passenger and grabbed onto the decorative thing that was hanging from the mirror.  The driver immediately said something (which I can only imagine was Chinese for "don't touch that!") and Troy just kept touching it and gave him a thumbs up and said something in Chinese - probably "I am hungry."  It was quite an adventure, but we made it back.

It was a very fun and exciting day in Nanjing.  Today, after we teach, the students have a "market night" activity, where they open up little shops and try to sell us little things that they make or possibly that they purchase at the store.  It's supposed to be pretty fun, and the kids are really excited about it.
 


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    I'm Dan.  I'm a teacher.  And this is my blog about my trip to China.

    Wŏ jiào Dan.  Wŏ shì laŏ shī.  Zhè ge wŏ blog dù wŏ jià zhōng guó.

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