Class is tough, but the food is delicious!
My roommate and her friend, who is also a Chinese roommate in CET’s language program, took me to eat hot pot. The food was very delicious! We each had our own small pot that cooked our food in front of us. There were leafy greens, lamb, dumplings, mushrooms, and tofu. All of us really enjoyed the mushrooms 蘑菇.
CET took us to a restaurant that serves delicious Beijing roast duck. I think it’s usually always recommended that anyone who visits Beijing should try duck at a good restaurant. Honestly, I don’t really like duck, but this place we went to was very different than what I’ve had in the US. I really liked it!
There have been a few thunderstorms here, which is good since I think it makes the air better, but the rain and thunder are so loud! During the night, it’s so bad that sometimes it’s hard to sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s good to have ear plugs. Otherwise, my nights have been pretty peaceful.
During the weekend before class, I went to Beihai Park. The sky wasn’t clear, but it was still very pretty. The 公园park surrounds a lake, where many people can enjoy boat rides. I really liked seeing the temple at the park, but I don’t remember the name, so I’ll have to ask my roommate about it soon. Some parts of the park were also very lively with dancing and music. My roommate, friends, and I also ate some delicious, sweet snacks in a shop near the park！
A Chinese University
I also got a quick tour of my roommate’s college中国民族大学. I found it interesting that the buildings are very tall but relatively small in length, so there were many students but the campus was probably smaller than average. I wasn’t able to see what the inside of the school was like but I can say that their cafeteria food is delicious, especially compared to my dorm food in the US.
The first two days were really rough. Not being able to speak English while also trying to understand what the teachers were saying was stressful, especially since they talk very fast. But it’s comforting to know that the teachers want the best from us, and they understand that it is difficult, especially the first week.
Yesterday, the class went on a field trip to the park to practice speaking with locals. Our main focus was to get to know more about Beijing’s elderly population. I think it was a great challenge to make us go out and speak with people who don’t know we are students. I was nervous at first because I feel strange sometimes when locals expect me to know how to speak Chinese while they don’t expect any of my non-Asian classmates to know the language. During these times, I have mixed thoughts. So far, it seems many Chinese people are initially surprised when I tell them I am an American, but they seem to be accepting after the thought sinks in, or they reserve their opinions. I’ll have to reflect more on this topic later.