Today (10/12) was my birthday, and it has been quite an experience to have a birthday in China. Last night I celebrated with friends at an American-style pizza restaurant, and we even found a birthday cake at a Cold Stone Creamery. This afternoon I went to HoHai park, and we took out a paddle boat on the lake, which was fun and relaxing. This evening, when I told my host dad it was my birthday, he was very excited! He made me special long noodles for dinner that symbolize long life (a Chinese birthday tradition), and then he took me to Olympic Park. I hadn’t seen the park at night before, and the lights were spectacular. I received some notes and gifts from my family back home, too! Thank you all for your thoughtful presents and cards :)
On Friday night, I attended a Mariah Carey concert with a group of classmates at the Beijing Worker’s Stadium. It was a very interesting experience to see an American pop concert in the context of Beijing. I was surprised how empty the stadium was.
Though it cleared today, the pollution over the past week has been incredibly bad. On Thursday, it even reach “Beyond Index”!
Back to school again tomorrow. Have a great week!