Another typical day of late - Peter and Jack started their day by hitting the books...
Some of the boys' exercises to learn Chinese characters. They copy the characters dozens of times to learn the strokes for each one. In China, the 1st grade is spent memorizing 600 of the most important characters! We won't get that far, but we'll get a few done!
The character for square, and circle, respectively, that they're learning - yes the circle character consists of 15 strokes!:
After "school", the boys went with Sue out to the local import store, Carrefour, and had a western lunch at the Golden Arches.
They stopped by Bread Talk with Sue to get some French bread baguettes. There are only a couple of stores in town that we've found sell these and they are a real treat. There's not much bread in China from what we can tell, so we try to make a special trip once in awhile to get some. It sure makes us realize how much bread we eat in the U.S., and how little we eat here!
On the way home, these little girls practiced their English with me, and I practiced my Chinese with them. We were both surprised that we could speak some of each other's language! They were curious (as everyone is!) about why I had a little Chinese girl on my shoulders!
Sue has been championing the benefits riding the public bus back from the University, rather than waiting around for the school's bus, so I decided to give it a try. I paid my 4 quai, and then was admitted to the waiting room - no turning back! The bus came and there were no seats. Greeeaat! So I stood for an hour on the bus, crushed by Chinese humanity, stopping every 50 feet for a bus stop for the duration of 25 kilometers.
The alternative was having a leisurely wait at the University cafeteria, then riding a comfortable bus WITH A SEAT and getting back BEFORE the public bus. I certainly learned my lesson on that one! Why does Sue like the public bus? She thinks it is more interesting - that was definitely true!