So there are just two weeks left here in Beijing. I cannot believe it has already been 6 weeks since I arrived here, it has gone by way too fast .
I recently went to Tianjin for a day trip. The city had a different feel from Beijing. In some ways it felt like a ghost town( compared to the crowds and traffic going through Beijing) it was much more relaxing to walk through the city. In other ways it felt a bit more modernized than Beijing and slightly cleaner. There was a bunch of western style buildings and western architecture clustered together that made me feel like I was back in the US( probably from its treaty port status and several European concessions. THEY EVEN HAD DOMES. They had a fake Effiel tower and some Wannabe Big Bens.
By the way, the high speed rail is AWESOME. It only took 30 minutes to get from Beijing to Tianjin, which is roughly the same distance as San Francisco is Santa Cruz. We peaked at about 300 km/ hr. Most importantly the leg space they provide on the train is more than any plane seat I have ever sat in. It all only cost about 110 RMB round trip, not bad at all
Also, I saw the monkey king. He was a sneaky fellow and convinced us to pay him 10rmb each for pictures with him.
There is so much reuniting going this year, earlier in DC I met up with the Hillebrands who I met in Kenya when I went to DC, now I am reunited with my friend Ada from DC. We were both interns at the Ameson Foundation last spring, and now she is in Beijing! We were able to meet up for lunch and Karaoke( I sang my first Chinese song, hooray) Experiences like these make you realize how small the world is.
I finally booked my trip to go to Vietnam with my cousin and aunt! I will be there from August 16th till August 29th. I was supposed to go to Vietnam last year because I just got back from Kenya and then got incredibly ill ( don’t worry, I did not get Ebola, that is in different part of Africa). So I had this 5 year Vietnam Visa that was sitting in my passport mocking me for a whole year. But that Visa can suck it because I am coming to claim what is mine(i.e. a stamp on passport saying I went to Vietnam)