Tuesday, July 6, 2010


hey guys,
im about to head out to visit the bf's family here in beijing but its been a very hot and exciting 3 days since ive landed in beijing. classes have started and i have hw already XD. Here's whats been going on here. I arrived with a small group of 14 in Beijing 2 hours behind schedule, since our plane got delayed. By the time we got to our dorms on campus, it was alrady 10pm. The cool thing was, we passed by the Bird's Nest and Water Cube on the highway over and they were soo beautiful at night. Once we got to the dorms, we checked in and got our information packets along with phone cards, meal cards, PKU id card, oh and also our room card. Our campus dorm is really nice, it's almost like a hotel and apparently, this is the nicest dorms on campus since its for foreigners. i mean, who has chandeliers in the lobby of a dorm? Turns out we all got our own room within a suite! I was not expecting this at all. I thought we had roommates but this is soo much better!! My roommates are Nikki, from Arkansas and Jessica from Hong Kong/Malaysia. They're both pretty cool and not in their rooms alot, at least so far. Nikki was on the same flight as me and Jessica arrived the day before us. Total, theres about 50 of us in this program. So anyway, we got to our rooms and crashed. Or well, tried to, I was pretty tired but I couldn't sleep well, jet lag and all.

I gave up trying to sleep around 5am got ready for the placement test. Yup, 8am bright and early Monday morning, we all had to take a hour and a half placement test to see what level Chinese class we were going to be placed in. While they were scoring our tests (presumably) we got taken on a tour of campus. In retrospect, I think it was the worst possible time to be doing this. One it was record breaking 40C (104F) for that day, it was almost noon time, with the flaming hot sun beating down on us, no shade and no wind, and you expected us to walk around outside in that oven and pay attention to what you have to say? No. I was falling asleep, it was like sleepwalking, expect in a blazing oven, full on heat. The only good thing was, at least it wasn't 100% humidity and you could actually see the blue sky, which in beijing is something of a miracle and a rarely seen event.

We had a welcome banquet, which was incredibly boring but I got to know some more people. it was then that i realized that not only did people come from all over the US for this program, but also all over the world. At my table, I met a british HKer, a frenchmen, and an australian. Thats pretty cool, i wasn't expecting that. next after the banquet, i went to the nearby market with sean and stuart to buy a LAN cable and other stuff I needed. stuart is actually a berkeley student and he was in chinese 10BX at cal with me, but we had different sections! such a coincidence to meet someone like that here! anyway, by that time, we had to go back to find out our class placements. i got put into level 5 for chinese reading and speaking class (HanYu and KouYu) which is low advanced i guess. the highest was level 6. stuart got into the same classes as i did. we got our textbooks and also had a welcoming orientation in ppt, complete with similes like v(^.^)v and i'm not even kidding lol.

after that, i went with a bunch of people to get gym membership and it took almost an hour to bargain for the best price. >.< then we had dinner at the campus' largest cafeteria, 2 floors of food, it was incredible how much selection there was and how many people there were and also how hot and stuffy it could be inside lol. we then explored campus a bit, by then it was alot cooler, probably 90F or 80F and went by the subway station right outside campus. we also walked by No Name lake right wen it was sunset. it was really beautiful, serene and felt extremely summery, cicadas chirping, walking under full lush trees and benches spaced evenly along the walkway beside a lake with a majestic pagoda in the foreground. absolutely amazing. our little group also checked out west gate since we were in the area and took the obligatory picture. there are alot of new graduates everywhere on campus. i guess its graduation time for PKu right now cause everywhere you go, there is someone in their graduation gown and cap.

the 3rd day in beijing, which is today, i had breakfast with some people at the closest cafeteria to our dorm. and after, we walked to our 8am class for our first day of instruction. my reading class was ok but sean had a hard time. the class i think im going to have trouble with is the speaking class. half our classes is made of korean students and they were soo much better than us! it wasnt fair how they already knew the vocab and of course theyre going to win at a game of taboo when i've just seen the characters for the first time. the teacher made the losers- me and stuart do penalty homework =(

classes end at noonish and we had lunch at the big cafeteria. it was another hot day and it was even more crowded at lunchtime than dinner last night. also, i ran into a guy from my chinese class this past semester! we were so surprised to see each other, because we both didn't know the other was going to Beida (beijing university) for the summer. he was there for EAP and he was also speed eating since he had to go to class in 10 min. but that was such a nice and unexpected surprise to see someone you know from cal! (i also saw another one of my classmates from the same chinese class on the plane over to beijing from the states. what is with all chinese 10BX run ins?)

after lunch, there was painting class but since i was late, i didnt get a spot in the class and also they ran out of materials, which was fine for me cause i didnt want to sit in the classroom anyway. it was a small room stuffed full and NO AIR CONDITIONING. you can't imagine how hot it was in there. everyone was sweating like crazy. outside, which was another record breaking temperature, now the 2nd in a row was cooler than the classroom inside. to walk into the classroom was to walk into a sauna. and you were stuck there for 2 hours until you were finished with your painting. people in there were regretting coming to class. it was so terrible. me and sean got water for everyone, carried 30 bottles of ice cold water up 5 flight of stairs from the convienance store downstairs cause i felt so bad for them to sit thru such heat. we left before class ended cause there was no point in staying around anymore. annie, a girl in that class sold me her painting supply kit cause she didn't want to do the class anymore, so yay! i can still do painting class on friday! me, sean, stan and nicole, who were all sitting outside the class, left and we went to Wumei (the campus convienance store) to buy some toilettries and notebooks and such. i also got an umbrella so i can be shielded from the death sun. the sun shining down on you makes everything 10F hotter. alot of the women here carry umbrellas here when its sunny so hey, now i fit in more.

me and sean went back to our dorms and i finally got a proxy server thingy to access everything china decided to firewall, including this blog, facebook, meebo, and youtube. soon it was time to leave again, this time to have dinner at sean's grandparent's place right across from campus. his grandmother was so happy to see sean, it was so cute and omg she spoke so fast! i couldnt even try to understand his grandpa, he had such a thick thich beijing accent! thank god im in an advanced chinese class or else i seriously could not understand a thing there were saying. his grandpa also went over the lesson we did in class today and surprisingly, she didnt ask me any background questions, like where am i from, where are my parents from etc. i guess that information got relayed over already heh. we got back 3 hours later and here i am, writing a ridiculously long blog.

thank you so much for reading this if you're still here listening to my ramblings. lol nikki, my suitemate just came into my room and said she just woke up from a 6 hour nap. lol! now to do homework and cram vocab!! tomorrow is class bright and early at 8am and then calligraphy class! i can't wait for that! and hopefully the air conditioning is fixed for that room....

1 comment:

EZ's World said...

what the dorms were nice?! I didn't remember them being hotel status with chandeliers..maybe it got remodeled/ upgraded lol

and WUMEI!!! i remember going to that store ALOT

reading this brings back memories! keep it up!

you should also check out silk street (take a cab) for cheap vendor shopping (BARGAIN like crazy)