Yesterday, we took a field trip to the Great Wall, which was probably my favorite 名胜古迹 I’ve seen so far. We went to a relatively far area of the wall, called Jinshanling, and the scenery was spectacular, plus there weren’t many tourists. We left school early, and we took a bus to Jinshanling, which is outside of Beijing in Hebei province. We were told the ride would be 3 hours, but it only took 1.5 hours to get there. As we left the city, I noticed two things: first, there was construction everywhere on the outskirts of the city. Always tower cranes building new monstrosities. The second was that as you leave the city, it becomes rural incredibly fast. Even before we were past the 6th ring road it was almost all open land. Interesting that there is really no suburbs of Beijing.
I had an absolutely incredible time at the wall. It was a tough hike to get there, but once we were at the top, it was amazing to be so high up and see the wall wind its way across the mountain tops until it faded into the distance in both directions. Afterward, we had lunch at a small restaurant, and then headed back.
On Monday of this week, we had a visitor from Tufts University give a presentation to us about both Tufts and the admissions process in general, which I thought was very informative, though it’s always stressful to think about college! On Tuesday I started Tai Chi classes in the morning, which I did on both Tuesday and Thursday this week. It was really fun to try out and a nice way to relax before my morning Chinese quizzes. On Wednesday I had my first robotics class with the Chinese students after school. Obviously I didn’t understand most of what was going on, but I could still follow along with what they were doing on the computer.
Next week we only have school on Monday, then Tuesday is the school’s field day, so SYA will be competing against the rest of the classes at 北师大二附中 (the high school I attend). Finally, we will have October 1-7 off from school to celebrate the National Day Holiday (国庆节), which is the day that Mao declared the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This year will be the 65th anniversary. I’m very excited to use this time off to see lots of sights around Beijing!
That's all for now! Hard to believe this will be my last post of September already. As of this Thursday, I've been here for a month - Wow!