Harder than it looks

I bought a ticket for the cinema yesterday. That’s not overly surprising, since I watch films a lot. But I bought it online and collected it from the ticket machine, which was only in Chinese. It took me a couple of tries, hitting the back and delete buttons, before I finally got it. Avengers: Infinity War is released here tomorrow (Friday, 11 May), and I thought I’d go and see it on Monday, since I don’t work then. Yesterday, I had my tutoring class, or so I thought. Turned out that at 14:30 (about an hour before I leave for class), I was informed it was cancelled, but they asked to reschedule it for next week. Next Monday, to be precise. I agreed, but then only after I hung up, realised that I was planning on seeing the movie then. I could wait until Thursday (I have tutoring on Wednesday too), but it seems like a long time to wait. I was going to call back and cancel, but I wondered, if it was an early showing, say 10:30, and the film is about 2 and a half hours, then maybe I could get back in time for the class. But then I realised that actually my Sundays are free, and so I am going to watch the film then. If it’s busy, as it will likely be, then it’s busy…. I can also rewatch it (because I have a feeling I’ll need to see it more than once) on Thursday.

My Chinese has not been so good in recent weeks. After one class recently, I left feeling a little downhearted. It had been a tough class. My teacher is very patient, and she has been teaching me for a long time, but it is still frustrating when I don’t understand what is being said. My listening is very poor, the poorest out of the four (reading, writing, listening and speaking). My speaking is (probably) my strongest, if I know what to say. If I can recognise some Chinese characters, my reading is okay also. I can write some characters pretty well, but I need more practice on this. However, my listening is very poor. It’s partly because I’m still trying to work out the first part of what was said, so I forget the rest of it. But sometimes, the whole thing is a little confusing for me.

My aims of learning Chinese have changed since I first came here. Realistically, I’m not going to be fluent, but that’s fine. I do, however, want to take the HSK Level 3 exam – which is the equivalent to lower intermediate. I had initially wanted to take it before the summer, but, because I’m staying in China for the next year, there is no rush. I want to pass HSK 3 before I leave; my idea is to do it in December.

I have registered to complete the HSK 2 exam next month. I read somewhere that teachers don’t often advise their students to take the exams for levels 1 & 2, because they include no writing. You don’t have to do one exam, before you move up a level. I can appreciate this attitude, but I think it would be good for me to get an idea of what the exam is like – whether I pass it or not (I can do mock exams and I have a book full of previous exam papers, but it’s still good practice).

I haven’t posted many photos in recent months and it might have made the blog look a little ‘dry’ (according to one friend). I haven’t had that many opportunities to take photos, but also I need to up my GB limit on here to post more, as it is nearly full. I was holding off until I decided about next year, but now that decision has been made, I can start reposting.

In the meantime, summer has arrived (temperatures are in the mid-to-high 20s right now), and the campus is looking very green. The city centre campus, where I live, is not as pretty as the campus I work at, which has many green areas. The cherry blosson has gone, but that doesn’t mean there are no flowers. I recently managed to snap a couple of photos of roses (I think!) just outside the building where I live.

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