This in spite of the fact that we don’t really know each other, except for when she lent me her pen…on the day I got sick… oh God what if she dies?…

Anyway. Here are Yana and I, waiting for Grammar Profprof, who is late for a change (read: not a change).



The “Chinese class” is not just any old Chinese class–they are the ones with whom select members of my group are taking select classes. I don’t think I ever wrote about this, so very quickly: A month or two ago, one of our professors pulled aside five people from my group and told us that it had been discovered that we were supposed to have more hours of lessons than the other students, so they were going to create a new group just for us. We decided not to ask how the department had made it this long without “discovering” the terms of our contracts. Anyway, a group of 6 people is way better than a group of 12, and the new schedule would mean escaping some truly horrendous teachers (read: grammar).

We showed up on the first day, and there was no classroom for us. So they combined us with two other groups of newly-arrived students from several Chinese universities, some of whom were still working on introducing themselves. After that day, they split us up, so the really low level kids were by themselves, and we were left with a group from a university in southern China.

We white people quickly became enamored of them, as they tended to say hilarious things (To my classmate who has impressively curly hair, one girl introduced herself thus: “I’m Sveta! You live in the Universiades Village! I’ve seen your hair!”), and they became enamored of our curly hair, attempts to imitate them when they spoke amongst themselves in Chinese, and my tendency to carry apparently large bags.

Our classmates can be a little overwhelming, though. They already were friends before coming, and they go everywhere and do everything together. If you ask one of them about their weekend, three of them will answer. When I told them I was going to Ekaterinburg (wah-wah…story to follow), I found myself pelted with questions until I was buried under them like in a ball pit. That’s when I realized who our classmates reminded me of…