I spent my weekend in 北京 (Beijing) and, as always, I return home exhausted from so much walking around with a giant rucksack. I visited Beihei Park, Lotus Lane, some hutongs, the Temple of Heaven before returning home this afternoon. I guess it’s a good time to share some big news, but not without first subjecting you to a gratuitous tourist photo:
I’ve made a decision to spend another year living and studying in China. Instead of returning to Canada this summer, I will not be leaving China until the summer of 2007. TRU has established a new partnership with another school in China and I have been accepted.
My current exchange program is a direct extension of the TRU business program and is a joint-partnership with TUT in Tianjin; however, this new partnership is only for studying Mandarin Chinese at Nanchang University in the south-east province of Jiangxi. This will mean it will take me an extra year before I can obtain my BBA degree, but it contributes to the fulfillment of another long-term goal of learning a new language. If you enjoy my travel stories, then expect them to keep coming. Every part of China has its own unique properties and I’m sure I’ll have a lot more photos and tales to share. If you do not enjoy my ramblings then I’m at a total loss why you’d subject yourself to reading this message in the first place.
In the spirit of deeper focus on China, I’ve updated my blogroll — the list of links in the right-hand column. I think the new categories should make it a bit easier to go exploring some other things. New categories about Asia and China have been added in order to share some of the online resources I have discovered dealing with business, law, economics, and politics, such as the very excellent China Law Blog. My list is just starting to grow and suggestions are welcome.
If you can Chinese characters, you probably read the title to this message and thus already know I (我) will be going (去) to Jiangxi (江西) on the 7th (七) month (月) of the year (年) 2006 (二〇〇六). This seems to be my favourite sentence form at the moment, so I’m using it as often as I can so it becomes more natural. Every time I want to express myself there is a pause to think about the words I will use, translate them into my very limited Chinese vocabulary, rearrange the words to be grammatically correct, and finally make my best attempt at pronouncing the words fluently and correctly. Sometimes when I rush the process I blurt out some nonsensical things that must sounds pretty funny to a native Chinese speaker. Many of my friends are always so embarrassed when they make a mistake with English, but the ability to make those mistakes represents a lot of work and progress. If I can make so many mistakes with the few words I currently know, I can only imagine what weird things I will unintentionally say as I learn more; I can only look forward to having the privilege. Now I have an extra year to find out!