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“Aloha” from the HSK Testing Center

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When you are Celebrity Hubs, it’s hard to keep up with all the blogging. Consider this catch-up.

The day after Thanksgiving (photos recently added), I traveled to Wuhan, the provincial capital, in order to take the HanYu Shuipin Kaoshi (HSK) which is the standard test of Chinese proficiency for foreign students of Chinese in China.

Since Wuhan is a 5 hour train or bus ride away from Yichang, I had to go the day before and spend the night, as the test started promptly at 9am on Saturday. On Friday evening, I went to visit the much heard about Aloha Diner in Hanchang. The Aloha Diner is run by a Hawaiian couple and some friends. Though it was a little out of the way (map here), I had heard that the food was fantastic. And sure enough – it was.

Since I was there the day after Thanksgiving, I had the Thanksgiving Dinner special which had huge portions and was quite tasty. The chocolate peanut butter shake was fantastic and the cream pie was really, really splendid.

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In the same area as the Aloha there was a ship docked. It’s now a restaurant. Whether it’s a real ship, I’m not sure.

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There were also a few Venetian gondolas thrown in the mix.

The next morning, I woke and went to the testing center. My fellow test takers were mostly Asian (Koren and Vietnamese) with a few Indian, Nepalese and Africans thrown in. The test was 2.5 hours straight, no breaks (so use the bathroom beforehand and don’t drink a lot of water). All listening and reading comprehension. It was pretty difficult, particularly the reading comprehension part where a few of the questions dealt with the overall “feeling” of the text. My brain was swimming afterwards.

I was expecting speaking and writing sections to be part of the exam, but apparently those sections (part of the recent revision of the HSK) had not yet been added. Hopefully, I’ll know the results in a month.

As soon as the test was over, I grabbed a salami sandwich at nearby Giano’s Brick Oven Pizza (256 ??? luo yu lu, phone: 13317198193) and hopped on a bus back to Yichang.

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