Today marks one week since I arrived in Beijing. There’s so much to talk about and so much that has happened that I can’t possibly include it all, but I will try to give a quick overview of what I have done since I have arrived and my first impressions of the city of Beijing and of life in China in general.
Sunday was much more fun. I told my host mother I wanted to go to Tiananmen Square, so we went along with Caitlin, another SYA student who lives in the same apartment building that I do. Our outing to Tiananmen Square was my first time venturing out into the city of Beijing, and it certainly was an interesting experience. I learned how to use the bus in Beijing, but I also got a taste of how long it takes to get from place to place around the city with its terrible traffic. Once we got to Tiananmen Square, I loved seeing the area and taking my picture next to Mao’s portrait. I think it's very fun to be a tourist sometimes!
I also got a sense of how Beijing's many contradictions. Not a half mile from the ancient Forbidden City lies the ultramodern National Performing Arts Center, and surrounding the small Hutong alleyways lie gigantic glass shopping malls.
On Monday, I had my first day of classes, where I was introduced to my Calculus, English, AP Environmental Science, and Chinese History teachers. Now, I am just getting into the rhythm of school and homework. Yesterday, we took a really cool trip to the Confucius and Lama Temples, and today I had my first day of Mandarin classes, but I will save that until my next post.
I hope everything is going well with the first week of school at GFA.
Until next time,