Out of the Well: A Frogs-Eye-View of China and the World

Random Jottings on China, History, Culture, and Life as seen by an American student in Beijing.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

First dispatch

On Wednesday I arrived safely in Beijing, along with my father who will be traveling with me for the week before classes begin. It has been a year since I was in China and I was met with a series of surprises both pleasant and unpleasant. The pleasant surprise was that Tsing-Hua University is very close to Wu Dao Kou, a neighborhood I frequented quite often last summer. That is to say the part of Tsing-hua I will be living in is close to Wu Dao Kou, the campus is incredibly large. They say that it is the MIT of the east, but two or three MIT’s could fit inside it comfortably without feeling cramped.

The second surprise was how much things had changed in a year. Whole streets of shops had turned over. Sadly my favorite little Muslim restaurant, whose LaMien I had been craving since I left china, is now a gaudy western style coffee shop. Secondly, some of the nicer western coffee shops offer wireless Internet for free! No more Smokey porno infested Internet Cafes for this old foreigner.

Yesterday morning my father and I went to see my new apartment which exceeds all expectations. Three large bedrooms, two small sunrooms for drying clothing, a livingroom, kitchen, and a bathroom. The best part is that it is on the fifth floor of an all Chinese apartment building. The apartments are owned by tsing-hua, but students, families, and other people from the neighborhood live there. It is really quite nice that I will be living among Chinese people, and not in the foreign student dorms. I move in on the 11th, after which my bureaucratic hell will begin. More on that when it happens.


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