For the second year in a row I have not been in the country for the Fourth of July (last year I was in Australia), but in order to make China feel more like home, Joe rented out the same Chinese BBQ place he took us and the Chinese roommates. After Chinese class, the fantastic four, all 30 of the CLS kids and our Chinese teachers headed over to the BBQ place to celebrate the Fourth of July. Margo and I both had are sparkly yang sans (sun umbrellas) as we walked with our Chinese teachers to the restaurant. When we arrived there were tons of tables complete with Chinese and American flags. Clayton had found a ton of Winnie the Poo themed party blowers that he gave to everyone. This got us a few CLS friends.
The Fantastic Four sat together with my Chinese teacher, Zheng Laoshi, who is a 26 year old grad student. The other teacher, Li Laoshi is actually only 23 (a year older than Gabe), and is also a grad student. My table was somewhat near the one that Lu Laoshi (from Beijing) sat at, and he kept making fun of me to all of the CLS kids at his table. It was fun to be forced to practice Chinese with everyone- I feel like my Beijing program was a little more strict about speaking Chinese. I had an internship where I spoke mainly Chinese, and my language partner wouldn’t let me speak English- where as my roommate in Xi’an loooooves to speak English. Hanging out with the Chinese teachers and CLS kids is good practice though, especially since the CLS kids get in trouble if they speak any English (in front of the teachers, that is).
For lunch we had chicken and beef chuar as well as spicy eggplant and peanuts. It was a good lunch, and afterwards we only had about an hour before our Silk Road Anthropology class with our Italian Professor Daniele, so Margo and I went and go some bubble tea. My favorite is café naicha, which is coffee milk tea, that I put zhenzhu in. Zhenzhu is a type of tapioca bubble that is a little smaller than a dime and is black. I’ve had bubble tea many times but I’ve never been quite a fan, but the woman that works at this tea shop is from southern China where they really know how to make their bubbles. The zhenzhu is kind of sweet (aka it actually has flavor, unlike most bubbles). So I got my café milk tea and Margo got her macha milk tea (almost like green tea ice cream flavor) and we headed off to class. Overall, a successful and fun fourth of July!