Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First week of class & Gusto St. Hot Dog

After the first day, I wasn't quite sure what to expect in my Chinese 2 class. My previous Chinese teacher was excellent and spent a lot of time explaining things on the board as well as distributing printed handouts. My new teacher's top priority is having every student in the class speaking and listening as much as possible.

At first I wasn't sure about this approach, but after one week, I agree that this is a very good way to teach the class. We do go over grammar and other lessons during the class, but it always involves speaking and using examples that we create on our own. I've taught myself guitar, am teaching myself piano, but to learn a language you actually need other people to have a conversation with to learn, so it's good to be forced into this situation.

Each week we have two tests (1 written test, 1 online computer test) as well as two written homeworks (1 Chinese characters, 1 grammar/vocabulary workout). In addition to this, we also have a Midterm and a Final. So there is plenty of reading and writing involved to balance out all of the speaking and listening.

After class today I went to "Gusto St. Hot Dog" for lunch. It is basically a New York/Chicago style "Western" hot dog joint. They had a sign that said they had chili cheese hot dogs, so being from LA, I could not resist. The restaurant was pretty small, but had a cool vibe and was a great place to grab a quick lunch. I got a chili cheese dog with fries and a Coke for $135 NTD ($4 US).

It wasn't bad, but for some reason in Taiwan and China the bread/buns always have a slight sweet taste that just bothers me. I love candy and sweet things, but somehow sweetness in bread just kills it for me. With a non-sweet hot dog bun, I'd say it was very good, but with the sweet bun, I'd say it was ok. Much like the Philly Cheese Steak place up the street from us, I'm not going to complain about imperfect Western food literally halfway across the world...especially at the price of $4 US.

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