By ◆ Juppie on Sunday, June 27, 2010 @ 8:52 PM

Today a childhood friend of mine came over to my house. She has been living in Shanghai ever since she moved away many years ago. I haven't seen her for a few years. She's in California now because she's attending a creative writing summer camp (I believe it lasts for three weeks) at Stanford.

I'm afraid I'm not very good with people. Although my zodiac sign, Leo, says I'm supposed to be extroverted, strong-willed, ambitious, and a born leader, I don't think those things are true...Maybe I used to be more like that, but I've been changed by my experiences. (Or I happen to be unlike most Leos.) A person once said I was more like a Virgo. Virgos are shy, meticulous, intelligent, analytical...as well as being perfectionists and worrywarts. Maybe I was born at the wrong time. (But I was actually born a little bit late, so maybe I'm meant to be a Leo with a Virgo's personality?)

I'm not a very good host, and I couldn't really say much. There were things I wanted to ask, but I couldn't really express myself because I thought the questions would be too blunt and rather strange... And I couldn't really say what kind of things I do when I'm at home during the summer because it might take a lot of explaining. Nor was I able to properly tell her how video and computer games that I was playing worked. (I guess it's partially because I don't know what to say exactly and partially that I've usually figured out how to do things on my own or by reading instruction manuals, so I'm not so familiar with giving people verbal instructions...)

She did say that the Korean boys at her school were quite fond of Starcraft, and it occurred to me that some member of the Korean boy band SS501 had become a Starcraft programmer or something of that sort.

Anyhow, though, that's not really important. I'm sorry, I got sidetracked again. (I apologize for my disorganized posts recently. My thoughts are a bit...muddled.) To me, living in Shanghai is a foreign concept, even if I've visited the city several times. Through listening I've noted various differences between the city where I reside, in California, and Shanghai, China.

- SH: Hot and humid in the summer
CA: Hot, but apparently not as hot as SH (both my friend who lives in Shanghai and my friend who lives in Taiwan say that here is cold, comparatively. I was horrified. XD)
- SH: Friend gets on the bus at 6:45 am and rides it for an hour to get to school
CA: I leave for school at 8:00 am, about an 8 minute ride
- SH: A polluted city with weak sunlight
CA: Bright sunlight (but in my town, you can't see the stars that well at night. Yosemite, on the other hand, is just splendid for stargazing.)
- SH: No wildlife, except in zoos.
CA: Birds (mostly pigeons, crows, and seagulls) and squirrels. (Stanford University, as I just discovered today, has so many squirrels in this one area. It was amazing.)
- SH: 8 classes at the school my friend attends (which is an "international" school that teaches by USA curriculum.) 4 classes in one day, then the other 4 the next day. (It's a good idea. You would have 2 days to do your homework so you can manage your time. And if you have trouble with it you have one day to ask your teacher for help.)
CA: 6 or 7 classes, daily. (It's predictable, but I want to try the 8 class system.)
- SH: Many students use Skype.
CA: Kids are more likely to chat through Gmail.

I wonder if I would come to like Shanghai if I went there. Maybe I could have a dog, like my friend does, if I lived in Shanghai. But I have very little grasp of Chinese (at least as a written language - I can speak Shanghainese somewhat better than Mandarin, so maybe that's okay) and I like my big backyard and getting to use the Internet freely (in China, you can't access Facebook, Youtube, or Blogspot, as well as other thinsg). Perhaps trying out the lifestyle is the only way to see.

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