Friday, April 20, 2007

Life in Beijing

When I decided to come to Beijing, I had no idea what to expect. I imagined that I would spend a lot of time alone, contemplating life, learning Chinese and taking in the foreignness of it all. I even had to defend my decision on countless occasions as people asked, "Why do you want to go to China?"

Well, every image I had about life in China was wrong. I should have expected that a city of 14 million people would have a lot to offer, not to mention all of the other international students I would have the opportunity to meet.

Last week alone was full of a variety of musical and social events: I went to see the Roots (if you know this group then you know how spectacular it was to see them in China, it was an amazing show), we threw a birthday party, also saw the London Symphony Orchestra and there were house parties both Friday and Saturday night. I actually have to find time to be alone. So like I said, not what I imagined life in Beijing would be. Anyway, all of this is to say that Beijing is fun, really, really fun. Here's to China!
Ladies night:

Dinner in a Chinese Hutong:
My attempt to play a strange, traditional Chinese instrument:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Great Wall

In China, it is said that you are not a man until you walk on The Great Wall. So, I am now a man. Last Saturday, our school took us on a group trip to a section of the wall about 1 1/2 outside of Beijing. It was a beautiful day.

My new friends, Andrea (Mexico) and Baptiste (France):

It goes on forever:

This is a steep section up to a watch tower:

You can see how rocky the terrain is around the wall:

These are my classmates, representing Thailand, Mongolia, Mexico, France and America:

It was a pretty intense hike up a steep section of steps to get to the wall. Luckily, they built a slide back down (it was awesome!):

Nestor displaying his new wares from the tourist shops at the bottom of the wall: