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Kids and teenagers get bored easily, so it’s wonderful for us when our parents get bored, too. We were sitting around with nothing to do, and my host mom came in and sat down and said “无聊死了,” which means “bored to death.” So, she said that we would “go to Suzhou.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, exactly, since I was pretty sure we were in Suzhou already, but I wasn’t going to argue with an excuse to put away my homework for a while. Apparently, she meant we were going shopping. I really don’t understand the whole “I’m bored so I’m going to go buy clothes” thing, but that’s what we did. We went to a mall on a very crowded shopping street called Guanqian Jie (观前街). My host mom and sister told me that I could go look around for something I liked, but I refused. Why?

Well, first of all, I hate clothes shopping with a passion, no matter what country and what store. I really do. A band t-shirt and denim shorts is really all I ever need. But that aside, let’s think about this for a minute: a very obviously foreign teenager browsing “alone” for clothes in China. Do you KNOW how many sales attendants are going to follow me around? Not to mention, Chinese clothing and I just do not get along. For one thing, Chinese sizes and American sizes are VERY different. In America, I’m a medium. In China, I’m an extra large or even an extra-extra large. Hahaha. And for another thing, most Chinese girls’ clothes are flowery or frilly. Not my style. So perhaps needless to say, I bought no new clothes today.

But I did experience something else new: Chinese Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut (必胜客) in China is much more upscale than it is in America, and there’s almost always a wait. I ordered pepperoni pizza because apparently plain cheese pizza doesn’t exist here, but I was surprised by how American it tasted! I had eaten pizza in China before this, and it was fine, but it didn’t satisfy an American teenager’s pizza craving. But this made me not desperately need pizza the minute I set foot on American soil. The biggest difference was in HOW I ate my pizza. I went to pick it up, and my host sister looked at me and asked, almost horrified, “You want to use your HANDS!?” I told her yes, that that’s how we eat pizza in America… But apparently in China you use a knife and fork. So I obliged. When in China, do as the Chinese do. Luckily, I still remembered how to use silverwear. Something else that surprised me at this Pizza Hut was the waffle fries that appeared on the appetizer platter my host mom ordered. First of all, waffle fries belong at Chick-fil-a, not Pizza Hut. Also, though, my host mom gave them a confused look and asked what they were! I guess waffle fries aren’t all that common here… I informed her that they were 薯条 (French fries), and she said she didn’t like French fries… More for me! They were no competition for Chick-fil-a, but they weren’t all that bad. Today was a very happy food day. 🙂

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