Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Campus Scenery, the Mall, and Fainting Lady

We have now had several really cool days in a row now and I thought it would be a nice opportunity to take a stroll around campus and get a few more shots.  One of the disappointing things for us back in Cedar when we knew we would be coming here was how few pictures there were of the campus.  The English version of the HNU site has virtually nothing and Google images was not much better.  If I were promoting this campus to prospective students, I would think these beautiful pictures would be quite a selling point.  Then again, maybe the Chinese don't appreciate what they have here because the whole southern part of the country probably looks green like this.  I love to get outside and to just walk around because there is so much new territory to explore.  I have found several very serene places to go when I just want a quiet place outside of my room to prepare for class or to study my Mandarin.  With 2 to 2 1/2 hour Mandarin lessons every other day, I have to study really hard to be ready for each new lesson.  My  tutor is very demanding (in a good way) and she is teaching me for free, so it would look really bad if I was not prepared prior to each new lesson.  

The crazy story of the day happened at the bus stop.  I was standing there by myself waiting for the bus to come and this girl about 22 starts walking toward me.  She was kind of stumbling a bit and she was making really unusual eye contact with me.  It was almost this blank kind of stare.  I remember thinking, "what is this girl staring at me for," but before I could really process it, she fainted and fell forward and hit her face directly on the concrete.  She was clearly out cold because she did nothing to try to break her fall.  Her face slammed against the sidewalk about as hard as it could have.  I said (in English because I'm an idiot and forgot where I was) "Hey, are you ok," but she was still unconscious and there was blood running from her nose.  I picked her up and carried (more like dragged) her to a part of the bus stop where I could set her down against a wall (there are no seats at these bus stops).  She had a couple of friends that were with her and they started wiping her face with tissues.  The girl started to come to and I made the universal "make a phone call" hand gesture and the friends waved me off to indicate she didn't need an ambulance.  So, I hopped on the bus and went on my way.  

I love to sit in this area and review my Mandarin words.

No idea who this guy is?

Liberal Arts College

Loved how this canopy of trees covered this whole area and how low it hung.

Kind of a patio area between dorms.

Some of them are playing badminton (without the net of course)

Such a wide variety of vegetation.

As I walked the campus, I started to get closer to part of Yuelu Mountain.  I think this is regular residential housing and not student housing.

Students walking from class.

The cafeteria.

Not surprisingly, Kung Fu Panda was very popular here.

This guy doesn't understand why I just wanted a picture of the baby chicks and didn't want to buy one.

Another busy part of campus.

Students have stopped to read the day's newspaper posted in these glass cases.

Another good spot to sit and study.

The whole campus is like one big botanical garden.

Took this while most students were in class.  That's why it looks so empty.

My favorite place to get fried rice.  I do have to specify jidan (which means I want it made with chicken eggs).  Not sure what I would get otherwise.

Lots of kids running around in their school uniforms.

This car would only pass inspection in China and Idaho.

Five story mall at the Tongcheng Plaza within walking distance of Hunan Normal University.  There are several large department stores, a movie theater, a Brazilian/Chinese restaurant (which I've already been to), and a fitness center.

Apparently the sale items are put in this main area on the bottom floor.

That's right, kids.  They have a toy store!

This is a picture outside of the KFC.  I can't bring myself to eat here.  It has too many non-KFC-like dishes, so it kind of scares me a little.

My new business cards!


  1. Great pictures! The vegetation is amazing. Is it as hot there as it looks? I usually associate lots of green with lots of heat and humidity.
    Some of the amenities look first world. I don't feel as sorry for you now.
    Have the people shown much curiosity about you or is the area fairly inundated with foreigners?

    How do the prices for food stack up against ours?

  2. Let's see. The weather has been fluctuating quite a bit. When it's hot, it's virtually unbearable. But, we've had enough cool days that it's not so terrible.

    You shouldn't feel sorry for me. Apart from not speaking Chinese and not being used to living in such a huge city, it's not that big of an adjustment.

    The people have shown a lot of curiosity. There are not that many foreigners here. In fact, the only ones I have seen are the ones I interact with at the school and that I've written about in my blog. Otherwise, I've seen NONE!

    The prices are sometimes really good and sometimes comparable to the U.S., but never more than the U.S. for example, I regularly go this this place across from campus that serves fried rice. The give me enough to fill me up (which is not easy) and it costs me 5 yuan (75 cents). So, I can eat a meal for 75 cents if I want. If I'm splurging, I'll go to this restaurant I like a great deal and pay 20 yuan ($3.00) for a meal. You get the idea. My bottled water costs 1 yuan (15 cents). My 20 oz pepsi bottles are 3 yuan (45 cents). Going to see the avengers at the imax was 35 yuan (about 5 dollars). It's quite a bargain. If I wanted to go to Pizza Hut, KFC, or McDonalds, I'm going to pay about 50 yuan ($7.50). So, it's about the same. The rule of thumb is if you buy Chinese stuff, it's dirt cheap and if you want western products, you pay western prices.

  3. The place is modern but it looks better because of those green tall plants around it. It is better looking that way.
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