Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Woody Allen in my hometown!!

Yes, the movie director Woody Allen is in Oviedo, a city in the north of Spain, my hometown.
Allen is doing his new movie next to my mother's job in the center of the city, Mercado el Fontan. But he also has been in Barcelona and other places in Asturias next to the ocean.
There are some movie stars like Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem with him. I hope it is as good as Match Point, my favorite until this moment.
Penelope Cruz riding a bike in Oviedo.
Photos: my friend Juan and Reuters.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Trip to Xi'an I

Last weekend I went to Xi'an. It is located in the center of China, around 12 hours by train from Beijing. It is a place full of history and it has been the capital of 13 dynasties.
We left Beijing on Thursday afternoon after our Chinese midterm. We went by taxi to the West Railway Station to take the train that departed at 7 p.m. When we started to plan the trip we were going to be just four people but at the end we were ten. We bought our tickets very late and we only found hard seats!! The trip was long, we couldn't sleep for more than three hours and the train was crowded and hot at dinner time. Everybody was eating noodles. We arrived at Xi'an around 6 a.m. and we tried to buy train tickets to go back to Beijing on Saturday night but all the tickets were sold out, so after two hours waiting in the train station, we decided to go to our hotel.
We asked a taxi driver about it and he said that our hotel was very closed and we could walk. We started to walk, we get lost, it started to rain, etc. It took us around 45 minutes to arrive in our hotel... By this time we just wanted to sleep, but it was too early and our rooms weren't ready yet.After a long nap, we went out for lunch and we found some Starbucks coffee. I really miss coffee in China, but there are Starbucks everywhere in Shanghai, Beijing and Xi'an.We explored Xi'an all the afternoon and night. We visited the Forest of Stones Steles Museum, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the City Wall, etc.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Calligraphy classes

On Mondays and Wednesdays I attend to calligraphy classes in Beijing. It is really cool although it is hard too. You have to keep doing it many times until it works.
Our professor is Chinese and has a lot of experience, but he doesn't speak any English, so one of the top Chinese level students has to make translations during class. The last day was really cool because we were talking about classic music singers that he like and I could understand some of the Chinese.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back in Beijing

Since one week ago, I am back in Beijing. We are living at the Beijing Foreign Studies University located in the third ring, very close to the zoo and the Summer Palace, where I want to go very soon.
Everyday I have class in the morning, I visit places around Beijing, I meet with my language partner, I go to calligraphy classes and I study Chinese in the afternoons.
I also bought a bike so I can go by bike from one side of the campus to the other, to have lunch, and to some streets around. I really like. I was afraid about the traffic but now I am used to it.Other thing that I really like is the Beijing Opera and the costumes they wear. I hope I can find cheap tickets and go to one performance.
This is my room in the dorm. It is decorated with Spanish flag colors (yellow and red), some notes, flowers, the Asturias flag, and Fernando Alonso flag (my favorite F1 driver who is from my hometown).
And this is the door of my room. It has my name (Rita), my Chinese name (Ai Litai) and some flags from China, the United States, Spain, Asturias, and of course Iowa. I really miss the white board that I had when I was at Drake. I hope I can find one soon!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Clean water

While we were in Chengde we made a trip to the countryside. Everything was pretty, specially the water that was very clean.
Here you can see some pictures:

We have a great time fishing in the river, playing badminton and talking with people around there.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Learning Chinese

Chinese is in my opinion one of the most difficult languages to learn. I have studied English, French, German and now Chinese and I think this one is the hardest.
It was very difficult the first week, when we were working with pronunciation and listening to some sounds and I couldn't even differentiate them. But thanks to the help of the teacher, my language partners and some classmates, everything is better now.
I would like to continue studying Chinese when I'm back in Spain and come back to this city next year for the Olympic Games.
One of the songs we have learned in classMy classmates and our Chinese professors

Friday, July 6, 2007

I love travelling all over the world!!

Yeah, the more I travel, the more I like it. I started when I was a little girl of 10 years old. I went to many cities in Spain during the weekends with my grandparents, following the soccer team of my hometown. Thanks to them I visited a lot of cool places and I enjoy soccer games.
Then, I started to travel with my classmates to Europe and I did a school exchange with Westlake High School in the USA. Since then, I couldn't stop traveling.
Why do I like it so much? Because I meet new people, I visit beautiful places, I take lots of pictures, and the most important: I learn a lot of things everyday, every second.
And this is what is happening now in China. I love this country, I met new people from the States and China, I visited beautiful places, I took a lot of pictures and I have learned so much.
That's is probably why I want to be a correspondent, so I can keep traveling, taking pictures, and share my experiences and the information about what is going on all over the world.
One of my last experiences was to celebrate for first time the 4th of July with Americans in China. It was incredible to be with people from two countries, having fun and making new friends.
With some Chinese friends in Chengde
Celebration of the 4th of July in Chengde

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