While there hasn’t been precipitation in Zhengzhou for almost a month now, ice has nonetheless begun to appear on the roads and sidewalks. Yes, and there are only several alternative avenues for ice to appear on the ground barring rain or snow fall: dirty wash water thrown from a doorway; hearty hoarking; vomit; urination. Probably not in that order. Haha I love it here.
So Zhengzhou has, against all my expectations, become cold. It’s unbelievable actually….it’s hard to imagine that this same city, now enduring blistering cold winds, once was a blast furnace of 40 degrees and hotter. Canada hardly knows such extremes, though it comes close sometimes. I’ve been told Zhengzhou will reach its coldest period in a few weeks; it’s warmer from there on, apparently.
And, in a month or so, watermelons will begin appearing from the south of China! Oh, I’ve missed those spring and summer nights, scooping endless spoonfuls of watermelon into my over-stretched belly.
I had lunch with two Russians a few days ago. We made tentative plans to travel somewhere on the Winter holiday. It’s such a unique relationship we have. We can only communicate by using Chinese, since neither of us can speak the other’s language. Which means that as we study, we find there are more things to discuss, since we finally know how to discuss them! I might do the final two sacred mountains with them next month, we’ll see. They’re both from Moscow, learning Chinese in hopes of finding a job in journalism back home.
Several days before lunch with the Russians, I had bubble tea with my Korean friends at the university. One of them, a business man in his 30s, drove us to the shop in his company car, treated us all, then drove us to our next class. As with the Russians, communication is entirely through Chinese, which is absolutely wonderful. The Koreans seem to have an easier time with the spoken language, but the characters are just as much of a difficulty for them as for English-speakers.
Now the Japanese, they’ve got it set. Writing’s a breeze: they use many of the same characters as Chinese. On top of that, their word for “3” is the same as in Chinese. That’s all I know about the similarities, but it’s gotta mean something.