Out of the Well: A Frogs-Eye-View of China and the World

Random Jottings on China, History, Culture, and Life as seen by an American student in Beijing.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Big Test, Big Plans, Big Pain-in-the-Butt

I woke up at seven this morning to the sound of my alarm clock buzzing inches from my head. Strange, this seemed strange as I thought it was still the weekend. As it turns out I was right, but I had signed away my Sunday morning to the HSK. The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi is a Chinese proficiency test comparable to the TOEFL tests in the states. I have no real reason to take it, and no hope of testing as proficient, but as my program was paying for it, it would seem rude to turn it down.

The test was held next door at Beijing Yuyan Wenhua Daxue, the Beijing Language and Culture University. BLCU is notable for being a majority frowner school. And even more notable for being mostly Korean. On the way to the test I swung by a campus shop to pick up a juice box and I saw for the first time in months boxes of Coco Crispies and Frosted flakes, if this was not surprising enough the boxes were in Korean!

The test was two and a half hours of educated guessing, and was comparable to the practice test that put me squarely in the intermediate category. If I did really well I might have gotten a 5(of 9), which is one less than necessary to attend a Chinese University in Chinese (unless you major in science, in which case you need a 3).

After the test I had an enjoyable meal, and a walk through a clothing market that seems to have sprung up from nowhere in a parking lot in Wudaokou. (fellow-ex-reedie-friend-Jen claims it has been there all along, but I have my doubts.)

The rest of my day was spent planning trips, first the one I will take with my family in June, and second the one I will be departing for this Thursday. Hmm... in retrospect this seems backwards.

originally I was going to spend the International Labor Day holiday in the ex-people republic of Mongolia, but time, logistics, and lethargy made that plan seem a little two much. Instead I will be heading to one of my favorite places in the world. Putuo Shan, and island off the coast of Shanghai. Hours were spent today with my travel companions trying purchase tickets online (ultimately successful), figuring out boat tickets on Chinese web pages (still having trouble), and worrying about money (ongoing). All and all though it should be a good trip. I promise to take many pictures.


At April 24, 2006 7:05 PM, Blogger ASJ said...

Wow, Eben. You are really keeping up.

At April 24, 2006 7:06 PM, Blogger ASJ said...

Wow, Eben. You are really keeping up.


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