你好北京

你好!从现在到年下我会打中文来提高喔的中文水平。 我刚刚来北京! 我好累因为我今天晚上十二点才来了。二十五个小时差不多没睡觉。我DC 的同学给我去北京非常见面。 他叫潘越,是很好人。 我一来飞机场就没法子给头潘越打电话,我得一个中国手机号来用Wi-Fi所以问一个中国人帮助我连Wi-Fi,然后在咖啡店等潘越见面。 她也是北师大的学生,专业是教小学。 北京好像一个很有意思的城市,明天想走来走去看看有名的地方。

Note: As of now, I cannot upload pictures to WordPress due to the internet being so darn slow. So until further notice, I guess I have to upload them later. That means I get to paint word pictures!

I am alive! I made it to Beijing in one piece. I have been up for about 25 hours (because that is what flying across the country does to your perception of time). My internship in DC has proved to be very strategic , my coworker’s friend picked me up from the airport and helped me navigate through to my dormitory. She was even nice enough to get a sim card ready for me right as I arrived at the airport.

It has only been a few days I am getting tons of practice with speaking and conversing in Chinese. It also taught me that .. One second I need a micro nap, the jet lag is getting to me Okay, I have learned from many Chinese people here that my accent is either slightly Taiwanese or Cantonese. Of course it 100% foreign so at least that is consistent. It also turns out that I am better at speaking and articulating that I am at understanding, reading, and writing. Overall it means that I have a big mouth, right?

As far as the city itself, I can already feel the pollution in my lungs and throat. There is a constant existence of sweet golden chunks of phlegm in my throat that spikes in the morning but maintains throughout the day. It’s a nice feeling(not), and assume that this is what it feels like to be a chain smoker, except I do not even get the pleasure holding a smoke and optionally screwing with my lungs.  Based on that logic, this means… that all this smog is an infringement on my fundamental/ constitutional rights. It is called “thou shall have the right to inflict harm on thy own health”. But this smog is getting in the way of this, my lungs and throat are screwy without any action of my own, this is blasphemy! I need to indict the pollution in the ICC or something.

The food here in China is incredibly Chinese. Some of it was food I grew up with, and other dishes I learned to make when I worked at Mission Chinese Food. One of the first things I had was rice porridge(粥). The consistency is much thinner than I am used to, probably because they either wash out a lot of starch or they don’t boil down the porridge as much, or they just use a lower rice to water ratio. It was still good. We also had a fat breakfast with 4 bowls of porridge(粥), 2 steaming plates of buns(小笼包, and 4 long sticks of Chinese donuts(油条) between 4 people for about 32 RMB overall( less than 6USD total), Not a bad deal at all.  土豆牛肉拌面 at the canteen was also pretty good, with heaping portions of noodles potatoes and beef. The portions at some of the canteens are impressively American it makes me proud to know that the people here are adapting to the American way of eating way more than you should at a given meal(of one dish nonetheless).

Regarding the traffic and drivers here in China, its like San Francisco or New York on steroids. Drivers really do not care about safety buffers an endearingly drive past you within 2 inches of your face. However I have come to the conclusion that they will rarely actually hit you or run you over. Honesty, if I was a driver, it would be much more troublesome to run you over and clean off your anonymous blood off my car and windshield than it would to narrowly miss you. So if given a choice between hitting you and narrowly missing you, I would chose the latter. I am convinced this is the logic floating in the heads of all Chinese drivers.

The UCEAP BNU program itself is a nice small group, there are 16 of us total plus some from Emory University. There are nice range of sophomores and seniors. Some of us have some less than working knowledge of Chinese ( specifically me) which makes for an interesting experience. That is the whole reason we are here though, right? The most interesting part that our dorms are essentially hotel rooms. It came with a booklet that called them apartotels or hotelpartments. They even come complete with bedding, pillows towels, mini fridge and even a TV. On top of that they even have room service and “do not disturb” placards.

I am taking the Chinese Placement test next Monday hoping to get into intermediate, but my writing and reading are pretty rusty

P.S. I do not have internet yet, so this post will most likely a few days late. The Great Firewall is tricky business and internet overall is pretty slow.

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