Over the past two months I’ve been adjusting to china…. and apparently Nanchong has been getting used to me as well.
There is a lady that had a little stand right in front of the gate for my apartment building. She sells instant noodles, cold tofu, drinks, snacks and other essentials. I go there for the oreos and drinks, but she used to give me the worst looks. I assumed she was just
a horrible person tired or shy. Well now I’ve been here long enough when she sees me she just waves packets of oreos at me and gets oddly excited if I buy beer
I also go to the same street stand most mornings for a sweet roll and hot cup of bean juice (soy milk… I think anyways) and the couple that works the stand knows I’m really bad about keeping my place in line. I just can’t seem to shove 4ft tall 90yo women out of my way no matter how much I want my bean juice, so they yell at people to not cut me which I think is hilarious. I can’t understand what they’re saying exactly but I know they say something about me being American. I used to order by pointing but I finally learned the names of the food and the first day I ordered it in Chinese they got excited and started clapping.
There is a bakery I go to on Sundays to get a latte and they’re so used to me now they just wave me to a table and bring the latte over to me. (It takes them 15 minutes to make it-hopefully none of them want to make it big in the barista world) Its a big change from the first day when I tried to order and there were 5 workers (also all about 4ft tall) in their matching outfits just staring at me completely confused.
My students are also getting used to me. They are the best and supposedly the brightest of Nanchong. My favorite thing is when they don’t believe me when I correct their grammar. They were supposed to answer the question “Who took those photos” and they all answered “The photos were took by me” and I corrected them saying it should be “Taken” (In reality they should say “I did” but no one asked me to write a grammar text book). My students refused to believe me and insisted on looking it up it up online – 10 minutes later were all “Tea-chah, you were right tea-chah!”…. Um yeah, I knew I was right.
I do appreciate how hard they work to make fun of me. Teasing me in Chinese is no fun and their English is pretty limited so it takes them a pretty solid effort to make sure I understand their mocking. Sometimes they need to get up and draw on the board to illustrate it, or my favorite is that they pretend to be me on a phone and say things like “Hello, this is American Rebekah, I cannot open computer” because the most hilarious thing the evil dumplings have ever seen is my struggle to turn on the computer screen.
Clearly my students are bad people.