Class is going well, it is definitely still busy but also manageable. Time is passing very quickly I can hardly believe that we already almost at the halfway point. I also am noticing a significant improvement in my speaking ability. For the most part I am able to get by pretty well with everyday interactions whether it be buying food, talking to a taxi driver or meeting a new person. By far the hardest thing that I find is understanding what some native speakers are saying, it sounds so different from the clear pronunciation we hear in the classroom. Our teachers say not to worry though, people’s accents from different areas can be so strong that even native speakers can have trouble understanding sometimes.
This week we went as a class to the Forbidden City. Originally a high security area for emperor and elite of China, it is now a major tourist destination, adjacent to Tiananmen Square. The Forbidden City itself was pretty magnificent, but after honestly the buildings all looked very similar. After a couple hours we hiked to the top of hill which had a amazing view of the whole City. Next week we will be going to Xi’An which should be exciting, as fun as Beijing is it will be nice to see another part of China.