I tricked one of my friends, LOL! He didn’t really like it at first, he gave me a very serious look and said, “Sanrizz, por que voce esta fazendo isto comigo?” At that point I did think, “Oh shit!”, but only for a moment. His name is Goncalves and he is from Angola. My apologies, I don’t know where to find all of the accents and thingies to write Portuguese. Too much work.

How did Goncalves and I meet? We met in 2016 when he first arrived in China. Every year, the Angolan govenrment sends students to China. They have this treaty or something. Well, I saw him, I said hello to him, asked him his name, told him my name. Then I said, “Hey, I’m going outside for some dinner, would you like to join me?” I could recognize myself in him a little… first time in a new country, new culture, new language, feeling a little lost. Plus, he’s so young, such a baby. I really wanted to give him a big hug! When I asked him to join me for dinner after just five minutes of meeting, he looked at me as if I were crazy. Well, I am crazy, just the right amount, so it stays fun.

My friend Goncalves and I. Haha! I had so much FUN that night! I tricked the poor guy, LOL! But he ended up enjoying himself, tho.

June 2017, I got invited to judge a competition. The contestants were students from Jimei Univeristy, all of them majoring in English. Since my work gave me the invitation (another colleague was supposed to go, but he didn’t feel like it), I had to go. Besides, I thought it could be fun! And it was!

Singing Competition in WanDa

First I asked one of my other friends, Stephen (also from Angola), to go with me. He immediately told me that he would like to go, but he doesn’t want to be a jugde. DARN! Then I thought of Goncalves, Stephens’ roommate. Though I met Goncalves first, Stephen and I have become good friends. I realized that I do more stuff with Stephen than with Goncalves. So, I asked G-Man if he wanted to come along, and he did.

FYI, my real name is Sanrizz, not Tiara. That is my middle name. The people I meet (not just here) have difficulty pronouncing my name, so I tell them to call me Tiara. Some of the Angolans still can’t pronounce my name, they call me “Sanders.” One of my best friends here, Felix, calls me “Saandreese.” I don’t know why they like to add the D. No matter how many times I teach them how to say my name, the next time they see me, it’s “Oi Sanders!” again. I guess to them it’s the “potato, potahto” thing.

What Goncalves didn’t know at the time, was that I had tricked him. I was kind of worried about how he would react.

But… Goncalves is a good sport, so he went along with it. I have to admit that I did feel bad for the first ten minutes, but when I saw he “got into it,” I relaxed. He was so mean! What a mean judge! Scores of 75, 69 out of 100! I said, “Goncalves, voce esta sendo enjoado, muito mao de vaca com os pontos! Muito duro!” I said he was being annoying and stingy with his points. He said that he was just being honest, they sound like someone is choking a cat, HAHAHA! To be fair, some of them did sound terrible! One student just rewrote an entire song, I had to deduct some points for that. At least get the lyrics right, they’re on the Internet!

This kid was really GOOD! He could actually sing! Also plays the guitar very well! I wanted him to win, he was my FAVE! Sorry for the blurry pic, my camera is BAD!

The young man in this picture was the best! If you ask me, he should have won! He rearranged an entire Bruno Mars song! SO GOOD! In the last round, he sang a song he had written himself! This guy should have won! But some girl won, just because her mike gave out and she recovered like a pro. Whatever, the Chinese Bruno Mars was better!

Goncalves ended up forgiving me, LOL! We went for dinner in McDonalds afterwards.

Late burger at McD with Stephen and Goncalves

That night, I tried a black burger. I had no idea McD sells black burgers. The bun is black! REALLY! Since I had already taken a walk on the adventurous side by eating a toad, I might as well try a black burger.

Thanks for taking this ugly photo, Stephen! <3

So, there’s the black burger. What does it taste like? Like a normal burger, it’s just black. This is another good conversation topic to break the ice or awkward silences…  *awkard silence* “Have you ever seen a black burger? I had one while I lived in China.” 

Stephen and Goncalves made me laugh. The black burger costs 35 RMB, which is more expensive than the normal burgers. “If the black burger were cheaper, it would have been discrimination,” HAHAHAHA!

OH! One thing I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE? Strawberry Sunday! I LOVE It mixed with Oreo cookeis, but at this McD, I would have to pay more. Nope, nope.