Shortish post about a great day. Last Saturday one of my classmate’s language buddies took us to visit her old undergrad university. About an hour bus ride further south of the city from where we are, almost hitting the mountains, is Xi’an Institute of Interpretation. It was my first time being on a private Chinese university’s campus. For those that don’t know, the public/private difference between university is even more intense in China. Private universities receive way less government funding (aka none) than publics and are generally regarded as inferior in terms of education and job prospects. Xi Fan (the abbreviation of 西安翻译学院, Xi’an Fanyi Xueyuan, Xi’an Institute of Intepretation, which sounds a lot like “rice porridge” hehe) though has a pretty solid system. All the students I’ve met from there have fantastic English, and they offer German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and apparently Russian as of next year as well. Anyway, we looked around the campus, which has a motherfucking driving range. A motherfucking driving range! Private education for you I suppose.
On the public side, universities are divided into 一本、二本 and 三本 (first, second, and third tier essentially). Oddly enough, due to the large amount of government funding to public universities in China, the first tier schools have the cheapest tuition, often only around 3-4,000 RMB (less than $1,000), while third tier schools can cost over ten times that.
Then we went and cooked linner at a kitchen near campus, which was amazingly fun. Been a long time since I’ve gotten to cook, and learned a couple dishes too. My favorite was one made of 韭菜 (jiucai, joe tsai, chinese garlic or chives) and some eggs, similar to an omelette. Ate, came home, watched a film, went to bed. Twas lovely. The pic below showcases the product of Sino-American cooperation, 土豆丝 (tudou si, two-dough s, “potato strands”) and the caption reads “May Sino-American friendship last 10,000 years). Hehehehe.
On Sunday I passed a very lazy Sunday morning, and then in the afternoon went to dinner in downtown at 醉长安 (Dzway chang an, Drunk Chang’an) which does traditional Shaanxi food. The highlight dish and one of their specialties that consisted of imitation walnuts and apples that were actually filled-cookies, and calligraphy brushes where the brush is actually another cookie. Fruit sauce instead of ink to dip in, it was really cool. The restaurant is easily missed if you don’t know what to look for, sitting in on a street where literally every other shop sells calligraphy supplies. Walking in, you find yourself in a courtyard where a woman started playing zither about half-way through our meal (sadly we couldn’t hear inside so we only caught a couple songs on the way out). Great day, fun pictures, sorry not much more interesting. Last few pictures taken by Alex, a very talented current student at Xi Fan.