Before leaving home, my loving mother was constantly telling me not to talk to strangers. I didn’t really have the heart to remind her that I was going to a country with a program where everyone was a stranger. If I had a dollar for every one I’ve talked to…well let’s just say it’d be a lot of dollars. For example…
At Sichuan Normal University there were two ladies, complete strangers, who worked in the cafeteria and were very kind to the fact that my Chinese is horrible, because of them I can now remember the word for apple: ping guo (苹果). They also made good noodles.
Then today, I went to the market and bought a hair dryer from a stranger. I’m actually rather proud of it, because I was able to haggle 3¥ off the price! The lady kindly laughed at me as I tried, but she went along with it. She was a nice stranger. I think I will go back and buy a bowl from her tomorrow. China is very much about relationships, and building rapport with people in your community.
Also, this coming weekend is a holiday here, so students and faculty have Friday off. One of my coworkers, also a stranger, has invited me to go for a jog with her since we’ll both be staying in town. I am looking forward to knowing her better, I suppose she won’t be a stranger after that.
All of that to say that I have been completely dependent on strangers since the moment I stepped off the plane. I have met some awesome people that way too. They teach me how to live better whilst in China, as it can sometimes be difficult to do things…like finding ping guo (苹果).
Until next time!
Now you can enjoy some more pictures of campus: