10 Best Memories of China (Continued)

This is a continuation of my 10 Best Memories of China post. Click here for part 1.

6. Food

All. The. Food.

Food in China is relatively cheap. For example, a basic Chinese dinner could cost you about $4. Meals do cost more if you're going for something non-Chinese but by more expensive, I still only mean about $10 to stuff yourself...

I found that China was over saturated with Korean and Japanese food. Western food such as pizzas, pastas and burgers were also not that hard to find. Just be prepared to fork out a bit more cash. Second semester saw a whole bunch of Western restaurants such as Mojitos and College Bar spring up around campus, no doubt capitalising on the number of hungry international students. However, south-east Asian food was a bit harder to track down.

Also yes, brunch is a thing in China if you know where to find it.

7. Hangouts in the Fourth Floor Kitchen

Some of my best memories of exchange were not the epic travel adventures or big nights out, but rather the moments where we just stayed in and hung out in the communal kitchens or spaces of our dorm.

In semester 1, it was the giant 15-person mafia nights that helped create friendships (or I suppose enemies). Then we realised that because we were in China, it was not that hard to get your hands on knock-off board games (bless China and it's lack of copyright enforcement). So mafia nights turned into Cards Against Humanity, Code Names and UNO nights. I also loved that we would cram 10 people into a tiny dorm room for a couple of rounds of charades. (Special mention to Kay for her epic impression of BDSM, gurl that was legendary).

8. Class

Okay let's be honest, the most I learnt in class throughout the year was how to fake paying attention whilst actually catching up on sleep in class. However, classes at Zhejiang University were still a big part of the experience and like, sometimes they were fun. Speaking classes for example were great for playing games in the name of "education".

Studying hard? Or hardly studying?
I also learnt a lot about other cultures in class, since the teachers always made us do presentations on our own country.

Sidenote: It's actually really hard doing any sort of presentation on Australia. What's a national dish of ours? Uh...vegemite...? What's our national costume? Thongs and budgie smugglers? What's a national holiday? Uh...Australia Day, also known as the National Day of Invasion. Actually no let's not get into that.

Don't you just love it when the Thai students wrap up their presentations on beautiful traditional Thai style dresses and then you follow it up by whipping out this old beaut:

Everybody this is the traditional Australian style "cork hat". We use it to keep away the giant, poisonous flies that we breed over here.
9. Turning 22 in China

Made me feel very appreciated. Especially when I woke up to find a colourful balloon curtain in front of my door and when people actually suited up for the birthday dinner. 'Twas cute.

10. Karaoke Nights 

So I tried to find a photo of us at karaoke (or "KTV") but either we were too wasted or too caught up in belting along to ABBA's Dancing Queen that we didn't take one. Ridiculous when you think about how many times we actually went to KTV. Almost every week, really...

I don't really like karaoke in Sydney. It's overpriced and you have to travel all the way into the city for it. But in China, KTV is one of the most common things people do with their friends, more so than clubbing or bar hopping. You're more likely to find a KTV than a club when walking down the street.

I don't know. There's just something immensely therapeutic about screaming along to Bon Jovi at 3am in the morning and then going for KFC next door because they're open 24/7. Sometimes we even stayed at KTV until 5am when they'd kick us out.


Anyway, that was my list of Top 10 memories in China. Looking back, a lot of my top memories are top memories because of the people involved. Xi'an, for all its good food and great sites, would not have been that memorable if it wasn't for the company that came along. Christmas would not have been as nice if half of our international family had been missing. I honestly think that the best thing that comes out of exchange or study abroad are the relationships you make. Over time the specifics of what I did in China will fade but not the feelings of connection and friendship that I was lucky enough to experience when I was there.

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