It was a wonderful birthday in China! On the way back from this beautiful three-story tea house the night before, Adrian, Sarah and Adam sang happy birthday at exactly 12:00 AM. During the night we had our very first party in our new apartment! China Abroad brought a signed card and birthday cake and we made a very eclectic mix of food. We saw Chinese people eat birthday cake with chopsticks and then combine the cake with sausage and dumplings. What?!
China has been truly wonderful since I got here. I know a lot of the IMBAs think we're crazy, but we are living like kings...and on a student budget. We may even have the other tracks beat! A beautiful apartment, crazy new experiences,
fascinating challenges, so much good food...we really think we are a little spoiled. We are very fortunate to have made some local friends already. They are making the experience that much better, and are showing us a true side of Beijing. Also, for most Westerners, I think it is hard to imagine a society in which everything is so completely different from what you are used to. The language, society, procedures, mannerisms, logistics, relationships, habits, etc. The polar differences is what creates such curiousity in us and enhances the experience. For people that love to learn, it is an ideal local. If you want to order tea, you have to learn something. If you want to go to the bathroom, you need to know how to get there or how to use it. If you need to find internet, watch TV, meet a new person, or even walk down the street, you will have to learn something and do something differently. I find the challenge motivating, but have also loved seeing everyone else experience it for the first time. They get so excited...and every single thing is new and beautiful for them....that it reminds me of the beauty I might have overlooked. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be around them and help them get through these first few weeks without being able to speak Chinese. I am learning as much as they are...
Check out our apartment!!
Yay! For new photos!: