I arrived in Beijing last Friday. I’ve been taking it in a little at a time. It is so big! First impressions:
1. Cafeteria food is really salty and and saucy
2. People smoke inside
3. People act completely differently when they talk with their friends compared to when they talk to shopkeepers. They both put on a mean, aggressive tone when they are negotiating.
4. Electronics are more expensive in China than in the US. Note: If you are going to China, buy all your electronics in the US, especially a translator!
5. Often the sun is so faint because of pollution, but today is different. The sun is shining brightly. Yay sun! I am so thankful!
6. Chinese people drink water hot because they must boil it before drinking. There are many toxins in “raw drinking” water.
I’ve been meeting people as well. I’m really thankful to have some contacts here in Beijing. Chinese people operate on guanxi, meeting and trusting people based on relationships. I’ve been able to meet some people because of contacts I’ve been given at UofL, including Shane and Vivian who were exchange students in the COB last year. They are a lot of fun. Shane helped me get electronics. Vivian helped me get some necessities and took me to the Forbidden City and Tian’an Men Square. I also met Nan who is also very nice. She studied last year at UofL for her Masters and was the language partner of one of my dear friends.
I registered for school and for my dorm yesterday. They barely spoke English. I am fortunate to have the little Chinese I do know that has helped me. It can be confusing. I do not know the classes I will take, but I will have orientation on Friday.
I met some business school students yesterday. They were very nice and encouraged me to get renren (the Chinese facebook). It’s hard to know what I’m doing though on renren because I can barely read. Hopefully they can help me out. Right now I have a random high school on my “information” because I don’t know how to choose a high school outside of China (and it’s mandatory information).
Well, I’m off to a lunch meeting and than hanging out with some friends! Zaijian!