June 1st, 2008

Yesterday brought a trip to Wangfujing. Today has been spent sitting at home- and a good thing, too, I’m not feeling that good and the last thing I want to do is go outside. I think I’ve gotten a cold, which is not surprising considering the amount of dust that’s been blowing around.

Anyway, Wangfujing. See, I want to get a feel for HSK Advanced, to see just how advanced it is and what my chances may or may not be.  The nearest bookshops selling such things are at Wangfujing. I chose the good old Foreign Languages Bookstore over the Wangfujing Bookstore because there’s never as many people in there. Well, we found some practice tests in both book and loose-leaf form, a couple of grammar books and only one textbook. So we took the textbook and the bigger of the two grammar books.

I haven’t really sat down and had a proper look at either book, yet, but I will say this much: HSK Advanced reading doesn’t look too scary. Longer texts and apparently long-answer questions instead of stupid multiple choice, so I’ll have to work really hard on my reading speed, but otherwise the texts didn’t look too difficult. Writing is just plain scary. Really, that terrifies me. lzh’s overall impression was that it was fairly similar to high school 语文/Chinese.

The grammar book is rather daunting in its size, but grammar was one of my weak points (well, comprehenisve was my weakest point, but we didn’t see any book at the Advanced level focussing on comprehensive), and so I need to work on it. Still, sitting at one of the drinks stands afterwards, I got only one question wrong on a randomly selected page of practice questions.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I’ll be ready for Advanced at the end of this year, but hey, might as well start preparing now- or as soon as I get the latest round of essay marking out of the way, at least.

But there’s one question I have about Wangfujing: What bright spark decided on the timing of all that demolition that’s going on? There are going to be huge, ugly holes in Wangfujing through the Olympics. Not a good look.

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