Today was my greatest learning experience so far. I went out by myself to browse around the various markets around my campus. They are closer and much cheaper than Wal-Mart. At one of the vegetable markets, I picked out some sweet potatoes and the owner weighed them and gave me a price. One of the biggest differences between China and America is the aspect of bargaining. In China, anything that is not in a high class store or supermarket can be bargained for. Since my Chinese is not yet that conversational, I wasn’t able to bargain for my food and probably paid a higher price (even though they were still amazingly cheap.)
After the vegetable market, I went in to one of the grocery stores to look for random things. I figured this would be a good chance to try to talk to some people, so I asked one of the workers about tea. After that, I went into another section of the store by the registers, and I happened to hear one of the cashiers say something about a Wai Guo Ren, or foreigner. Being the only foreigner in the store, I was pretty sure that was me, so I wondered what they were saying. When I bought my tea, I talked to the cashier about some little things and after a few seconds, everyone that worked in the store came over to try and talk to me. There was literally like five people in a circle around me. They even ignored the customer in line behind me! I think he didn’t even care and was listening himself. I found that very humorous. They didn’t realize that they were talking too fast so I told them to slow down. Actually, I told one lady to slow down, but I think I might have said it wrong and she ran away or something. Chinese people talk very fast since their words are all one syllable. From what I could understand and talk about, they liked America and one of the cashiers wants to go there. They asked me if America was expensive and I told them it was and that China is very cheap. I wish I could talk about how Americans make more and Chinese make less, so the standards of living are not all that different. Well in a few years, I think they wont be.
I really want to go to a KTV soon so that I can get my singing on. China has karaoke bars all over. Basically what you do is get a private room with a couple friends and sing for the whole night. It’s really fun. I wish America had KTV’s but I think too many people are shy or something. I guess singing with people isn’t a pastime