Hi everyone! When I last blogged with you, I was exaustedly sprawled across my suitcase. I’ve now lived in Beijing for about a week and I feel like I’m quickly adjusting to life in a Chinese city. I no longer say “I’m sorry” as I push past crowds of people (unless I say “dui bu qi” so I can smirk at my own cleverness), and I did not bat a single sweaty lash when I saw a man shaving a cat in the street yesterday afternoon.
Anyhow, thanks again to my fabulous guest posters Lynn, Joanne, and Melinda for picking up the slack while I was adjusting to new territory! Another somewhat reluctant thank you to Jessie’s Subconscious for making a surprise appearance (a.k.a. Peter … just kidding about the “reluctant” thank you, by the way. The word I’m looking for is “clutching-keyboard-in-China-with-surprise-yet-somewhat-pleased” thank you). THIH has another four exciting guest posters in the queue over the next week and a half, so we have some wonderful posts coming up!! 😀
I’m sure you’re all wondering what the heck I’ve been up to over the past week. Well:
Plane lunch. Eaten with chopsticks and a lot of internal cursing. I probably should have gone for the cod meal option.
Flying over Greenland (the closest I’ll ever get!!). Sadly, nothing to be seen out of the windows, as I was wedged into the middle of the plane.
Single-sized portion of vanilla bean Hagan Daaz with built in spoon.
Approaching Beijing 13.5 hours after takeoff from Newark:
Bird’s Nest from the 2008 Olympics (I’ll get a better picture for you guys later):
On to some food! Kung pao chicken, served family-style:
I noticed right away that authentic Chinese food is ten bajillion times better than their American counterparts. I remember eating so-called “Kung Pao Chicken” when I was at Amherst College and in restaurants, and those American versions do NOT compare. In general, the food here is lighter and much more flavorful than American Chinese food. For example, what do you get when you toss edamame with a little sesame oil, vinegar, and spicy pepper?
Check out my room!
This is a hole from my room to the outside. Did I mention I’m on the third floor?
One of the Chinese students told me that my dorm (the foreign students’ dorm) is the nicest on campus. None of the Chinese students’ dorms have air-conditioning, and until recently some didn’t have hot water. This study abroad program has been eye-opening in many ways so far.
Gotta provide our own water and toilet paper.
My first breakfast in Beijing was a little startling. For someone who is used to a hearty bowl of oatmeal made with milk and banana, topped with peanut butter, I was a little bummed to order this:
The bun was filled with some kind of generic meat (probably beef, but maybe pork, or a combination of the two). Together, both cost 0.90 yuan, or about 13 cents. Cheap and NOT filling. I quickly abandoned the bun and ate the egg for breakfast. Don’t worry! Jessie didn’t starve. I’ve been eating a lot of this:
I used to gobble down Pocky when I was a young ‘un. The chocolate flavors are particularly good. I also decided to try the Pretz kind after seeing them on Sophia‘s blog. The pizza flavor really does taste like pizza! I also wanted to taste a new kind called pejoy after seeing that one variety was red wine-flavored. Yes, it did taste like boxed red wine.
In the interest of not toying with your patience (and to give way to my
laziness busyness), I will present images of my first few days in Beijing without words:
At the Peking University main campus:
So far we’ve spent a good chunk of each day in our Traditional Chinese Medicine and Mandarin classes. I’ll talk about them more in a later post. Other than classes, I’ve been exploring the area around the Peking University Pharmaceutics campus, shopping some and eating lots! I look forward to sharing more with you all later. Until then, zai jian!
(Final note: I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting to all of your blogs. I’ve only been able to load a couple of WordPress blogs, but I can’t download any Blogspot or Blogger blogs, and I’m having trouble with some random blogs, I think because they have a lot of graphics on them, and this school’s Internet can’t handle it. I’ll keep trying to get through, but if I’m not as active in the blogworld, I’m sorry! I’ll do my best 🙂 I also can’t connect to Facebook or Twitter, so I guess I’ll have to go back to the antiquated telephone to keep in touch 😉 )