My (few) New Years resolutions.

With 2016 nearly upon us, I’ve been thinking about what my new years resolutions will be.

Study more Chinese.

This is the most important one! I really love learning Chinese, I really do,I just wish I could actually see some significant improvement! I know I learnt loads, but until I can successfully have a decent conversation in Chinese, I won’t be happy. I plan on reading Chinese books (thanks to Rafa for buying them for me), watching Chinese movies and practise my listening and speaking.

 Do the HSK 3 exam.

I’ve been putting this HSK thing off for way too long now, so this year I WILL do it! I really need to focus on the characters though, as for the level 3 exam there are a lot of characters I don’t know. As I don’t get a degree from studying in the Uni, this exam is actually physical proof of the effort I put into Chinese.

Do more exercise.

These past few months I admittedly gained some weight. My suspicions attributed to this come from buying a huge block of cheese from Metro…. and it was gone in about 4 months. We plan on doing more walking to and from Uni, so hopefully we will see a difference. Also, when we make food ourselves, our portion size is a tad on the large size for just 2 people. 

 Travel more around China. 

Although this resolutions is only a dream, as, at the moment I can’t afford it, but maybe I may get the chance this year with a stroke of luck. Ha I’ll give the Chinese Lottery a go! There are so many places to visit here, you would need a few solid months to travel around.

Last but not least, be happier.

Although I enjoy living in China, just some days I wish I was back home with my family. I enjoy my Mum’s cooking too much while I’m at home, and I will really miss clothes shopping in Penneys (Primark). I hate clothes shopping in China; the employees girls hovering beside me makes me feel like a robber in their shops. I think my problem is I reminisce too much about home and then get sad. I need to enjoy my time in China more!



A sisterly surprise.

For the past month, myself and Rafa’s sister have been secretly communicating with each other in order for her to come to Ireland to surprise Rafa. Since arriving home, my nerves have been nearly gone with worry that he would find out! Constantly looking over my shoulder, my phone was nearly always with me and I tried to make sure my facebook page was closed so I wouldn’t get any notifications. 

The day she arrived I made the excuse of having to pick up his ‘present’ from town. Thankfully he didn’t suspect a thing and he arrived downstairs greeted by his sister sitting on the sofa. I also got the whole thing on video to capture the moment!

For the few days that she was here, we went to a local pub… and it was mad busy! Becoming used to the quiet bars of Chengdu, this one was crazy; plenty of drunk people and blaring music, I was nearly ready to walk out of the place. Thankfully though we found a corner to stand at and we then began to enjoy ourselves.

We also went to see the new Star Wars, which I might add was very good! We also visited a small village called ‘Carlingford’ a picturesque seaside area that is popular with tourists during the summer. Although when we arrived theres wasn’t a soul there and it was quite cold, so we went to a small cafe and enjoyed a tasty scone and hot chocolate.

Our last night comprised of the family going for a lovely meal and visiting Santa. I bought Nathan a traditional Chinese outfit so he wore that. He looked so cute! We plan to put it on him for Christmas Day and get some nice pictures of him.

After 4 days she left to go back to France, but we’ll be seeing her quite soon. Next August she is visiting us, along with her boyfriend in Chengdu! I’m sure that will fly by!



Christmas At Home.

I’ve been home for nearly a week now, enjoying Mums food and playing with my nephews. My older nephew, I notice, has improved his English since the last time I saw him. He’s started Primary school so he comes up with words like ‘approaching’  and ‘nocturnal’, which have surprised me! I’m so used to kids his age in China only being able to say very basic English words. And the youngest, who is 10 months old, can now sit up unaided and can clap his hands! 

The weather of course is rainy and cloudy, but it’s lovely to be inside in the warmth! Rafa was afraid that he would be freezing in Ireland, but I assured him that inside places it’s warm. Instead of Chengdu where EVERYWHERE is cold! It’s nice not having to wear a coat indoors!

My Chinese studies is slowly coming back, where I’ve been translating our textbook into English, or  I should say into ‘Chinglish.’ That way we can read the Chinglish and try to translate it back into Mandarin. I feel like I’m actually studying by doing this. I have plenty of time to study, but of course TV and the nephews pull me away.

And I’ve FINALLY gotten my hair cut and coloured. After my bad experience during the summer, I held off getting it done until now. After letting it grow for the past 3/4 years, I got it cut to my shoulders. My hair dresser said the colour should last a few months, as it’s my natural hair colour… but, my hair isn’t the best at keeping colours in, so I wont be surprised if it’s much brighter soon.

So next week I have my hospital appointment, then Christmas is around the corner! I still have stuff to get, but I still have time.

China wise, I’m not missing too much. I miss my independence though as this time I don’t have the small car to be able to drive places, so I’ve been relying on my parents to drop us places. We have, to me the ‘big car’, but I think It’s too big to drive, so I’m reluctant to buy insurance for it in case I don’t drive it. But I may brave it and venture out one day in it!