Coming to China, I really thought that it would be pretty easy to lose weight. Kaifeng isn’t too large of a city, so the most common method of transportation is the oldest one in the books–walking. I walk EVERYWHERE. There are no elevators in my dorm, and since I’m living on the fifth floor the five or so trips I make to my room end up giving me a good workout. The problem is the food. The food here is absolutely WONDERFUL. Today I went of the West gate of campus and bought 3 baozi (buns, essentially) that aren’t too terrible because they aren’t huge and they’re steamed–not fried. And then my little group happened upon a cart that sold some sort of Chinese burrito. The shell looked like it had been slightly fried, and before they began to fill it they lightly coated it with some soy sauce concoction. The innards consisted of a small amount of beef (small, of course), potato slivers, and cucumber slivers that appeared to have been lightly fried in some oil, and after this wonderful mix was heaped into the soft shell, the cook added some hot spices and wrapped it up. This has probably been one of my favorite meals in China so far, and the best part–it cost 3 kuai. Which is currently about $0.45. So the problem with much of this food is that it really isn’t that healthy. Rice, noodles, buns, dumplings, these weird but delicious pancake things–they’re just full of carbs. And MANY menu items at restaurants are cooked in either oil or lard. So it appears that losing weight in China isn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped. For dinner I got an interesting carrot/cucumber/peanut mixture that was pretty good–it wasn’t really in a sauce, and I think the carrots and cucumbers were just raw, so that wasn’t too heavy. I got a small helping of some strange vegetable in a very spicy sauce that was…alright. I loved the spice, I’m not sure about the texture. But there was not a single grain of rice nor strand of noodle on my plate, so I felt somewhat healthy.
Today was our first day of classes! I think it went really well. I’m really happy that the teachers speak almost exclusively Mandarin. By the end of the class I felt like I was not only absorbing more of what the professor was telling us, but also listening better. I really can’t wait to see how much my skills will improve by the end of the semester. These classes are moving pretty quickly too–each is an hour and a half long and we’re going through about two chapters in each class. Well, that’s about it for now. I think this weekend we’re going to take a trip to one of the large parks in Kaifeng. It’s the main tourist attraction here–several dynasties have been through the castle there, so I hope to get some fantastic pictures! 慢慢走。