Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm rather bored at home until I start work at the end of the month. It's really cramping my creativity and making me lazy (more so than usual). At least I managed to send out some of my work to publications--I should hear back by the time I forget I submitted anything.

Last night I decided I had to get out of the apartment. Jia was working late and I had nothing else to do. I sat by my computer and opened up my HSK book from last year (the one I could barely read after using it to study for a few months). I was surprised I could read a fair amount of it. This gave me enough motivation to head out to one of the small restaurants for a beer and studying. I found a nice Sichuan restaurant just outside the gate--it's quiet and the staff was friendly even though I wasn't ordering food. They even have a nice little deal of buy three beers, get one free (that'll probably cause some problems when friends return to Shenzhen). Anyway, I can definitely say that my reading ability is now much stronger than my speaking. I can understand a decent amount of what people say to me; I just have trouble responding. However, give me something to read, and I can probably translate quite a bit of it. I now know about 300 characters and a whole lot of combinations of those. I still have a long way to go if I ever want to reach my goal of reading a Chinese newspaper. I also have to improve so that I can start translating my friend's poetry (Jia says he's a good poet).

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