Time was the subject of study today in language class and it has made me realize how fast our time here is going. It's hard to believe we only have week and two days left in Chongqing! We also went over our interviews we conducted yesterday. Everyone shared some unique information. 

For lunch five of us ventured out on our own and went back to a restaurant we ate at a few days ago. The owner immediately recognized us and knew what we wanted to order. I've always wanted to walk into a place and have the worker know my order so that was fun. Across from the restaurant is a small coffee shop which makes wonderful vanilla milkshakes for dessert! After all the food we hit up the bank and the grocery store. I found out you have to be quick in the grocery store or you will be cut by an old lady! It's not uncommon to cut in line here in China and you have to be fast with what your doing so you don't get in the way!

The afternoon seminar has been my favorite so far because it was very hands on. We learned about Chinese paper cutting and knot making from a very experienced artist! Art has always been one of my favorite subjects so I especially enjoyed these activities which allowed us to express our creative sides. She showed us some of her wonderful handmade pieces and I was in awe! Paper cutting and knot making is one of UNESCO's recognized heritage/traditional practices. Each design has its own meaning. The first one we made was very symmetrical and can be found at weddings. We ran out of time to make bracelets but in Chinese history every girl wore one for protection and good luck. Instead we made small key chains which were very complicated to make! 

Finally we had some spare time to have a night out with our language partners! They treated us to a wonderful meal (the spiciest one we've had yet) and accompanied us as we browsed through some shops. I was able to talk with a lot of the girls and ask some questions. We talked a lot about relationships and weddings as most girls would do! I didn't know very much about Chinese weddings but I found out they only need a wedding certificate to make it official which is received from the civil administration. They have a ceremony but no one is in charge like a religious pastor. Afterwards they take a lot of pictures and have dinner with friends, family, and teachers. They have a party, sometimes at the parents' home. This all sounded very similar to weddings in the US. They told me about how a couple of students have gotten married on campus and traveled around on the school bus to show their joy and happiness. I was also surprised that women have to be at least 20 and men have to be at least 22 to get married in China. Divorce is also frowned upon and divorced single mothers are discriminated against. 

It was interesting to hear and learn that I have a lot in common with many of the girls. One girl likes to joke around with her friends like she saw me do with Isaac and Tiffany. Another girl shared my feelings on the seriousness of relationships. I have heard almost all of them talk about how fast school is going by which is a sentiment I have. They worried about security on campus just as I do (they look for lighted streets and like to have a guy walk with them). It is cool to see how much we are alike even though we live thousands of miles apart; we still have similar thoughts and feelings! 

This weekend we are off to explore downtown Chongqing and the Dazu Rock Carvings! 

Things I learned today:
- Many adults study at the university but they are in separate classes pursuing different degrees. 
- There are more men who cut hair (barber) than there are women who cut hair. 


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