Monday, April 21, 2008

One step closer to the Middle Kingdom

I booked my airplane ticket to China last week...I depart Omaha on Sept. 2. Very exciting to have something new to look forward to. What's more, I've been studying Mandarin (via Rosetta Stone) as much as possible over the last few weeks. I can now say such important and enlightened things as: "Zhe ge mao chi fan" (The cat is eating food).

On another note, I now have less than two months remaining in New Zealand. I'm sure it will go very fast. Look out, Omaha; I'll be back before you know it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mission Mode, once again

In preparation for my departure from New Zealand, which is a mere 70 days from now, I'm going to try to revert to the mission mode I was in last year as I got ready to head here in the first place. While I still have plenty of money saved, it won't hurt to recoup some of the cash I've spent here so far--After all, nothing is guaranteed once I leave here.

So that means more sitting around the hostel, rather than going out. "But you're in New Zealand!" you protest. Indeed I am. And I have been for the last 214 days (can you believe that shit??). And in those seven months, I do not hesitate to say that I have gone out on the town and partied more than the four years following my 21st birthday, combined. So I think I owe both my body and my savings account a solid, by taking a break.

Sitting at home isn't all bad, by the way. I've been learning Mandarin online with Rosetta Stone, which is a great way to learn a language. Chinese had a nasty reputation for being quite difficult to learn; each word can be pronounced with four different tones. But I dare say I am making some pretty big strides and should be able to get around in China without totally relying on sign language and the occasional English speaker. (Mandarin isn't the only language spoken in China, but the majority speak it).

So, when I'm on the plane at the end of June, I hope to be a bit richer, a bit leaner (I run up and down a flight of stairs at work at least 25 to 30 times a night--take that beer gut!) and a bit more international. Not a bad combo.