Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hello from China

Hello from China!!! Sorry I have not been able to update my blog lately, I have no internet access in the apartment that I am staying at so I can only go to the university or lan cafĂ© around the corner to go on the net. Still, I cannot access my blog ( in the area of Beijing that I am living in. I do not know if it’s just the area (University District) or all of Beijing, but for some reason, if I try to go to my site, it is blocked and takes me to a search engine.

Well life here in Beijing is MUCH different than in Korea and Canada. It is very crowded and very hot. The temperatures lately have been above 32degrees but it is humid so I have been sweating a lot. One weird thing is that I was told it never or barely rains in Beijing during the summer, yet for the past 8 days (Today is June 27, 2007 and I arrived on June 19th, 2007) it has rained probably 4 times and today there was a lightning and thunderstorm. I was also told that Beijing has a water shortage so I think that since I have arrived in Beijing, I have given the people the gift of water. To help their fruits and vegetables grow and to give more water to the people. I am like the water god here I suppose. Kekeke. Anyways, the life style here is very different. I don’t want to sound to rude, but I must be honest. First, the driving here is insane. There are many people riding bikes on the road and there are lots of cars everywhere. The cars just cut each other off without worrying and they also cut off the busses to which the busses cut back. Honking here seems like the national anthem. You hear it every other second and its non stop. The cars don’t stop for people either and the people do not seem to worry. People on bikes ride infront of a car and the car just keeps going. The car inches by the bike leaving maybe 1 inch space and no one seems to care. The people are seem to be a bit rude as well. When asking for questions, even in mandarin they are hesitant to answer you even if that is their job. People seem reluclant to help each other and they do not care about manners. I am not one to judge because that is their style of life, I just find it different. Not better or not worse, just different. In Korea people were very respectful of each other and there were many cultural traditions to show respect to elders or customers. But in Beijing, nothing that I have seen so far.

Also in Beijing, smoking seems like it is allowed everywhere. It is very weird to see people smoke inside a restaurant, a school cafeteria, or even in an office. In Korea, smoking was allowed but many people still just smoked outside. The strangest must have been seeing people smoke inside the university cafeteria and also maybe the higher end restaurants.

These were the major cultural differences I have found so far. Beijing is still a great city. Items here are cheap for me but I assume they are expensive for the local people. When I arrived, Wanjun’s cousin treated us out for dinner at a upper scale restaurant. We had lots of food to eatsuch as Shark skin, fish, bbq goose, and many others and although I do not know the exact price, it wasn’t too expensive compared to what I am used too. At the cafeteria, I eat a big bowl of noodles in soup that taste great and also a big 1litre bottle of orange Juice for just over $1.20usd which is amazing. Oh, I have also been eating lots of fruits because there are tons of people selling them on the corner. I feel much more healthy here than I did back in Korea and much much more compared to Canada. In China, I have been doing LOTS of walking around but I don’t feel as tired as I did in Korea.

So far for the past week, we have not done too much. Wanjun has taken me around to show me some of the great food such as the Peking duck, congee, pizza and other things. Again, not too expensive for me (although I have very little money). I cant believe I would spend so much on a BBT drink back home when here it is less than 50 cents but in Canada it is $4.50. I have also bought some DVDs such as Ocean 13, Fantastic Four 2, and all 6 seasons of 24 for less than $6usd. The quality was pretty good except for FF2 and also I must go back because the 24 is in mandarin so I will change it to english. We have also been to a few malls to do some shopping and I bought some clothes that isn’t too expensive.

The major thing I have done so far was probably yesterday when we went to Tinanmen square and also the Forbidden City. The square was nice and big. There were many famous buildlings around it such as Mao’s tomb and also some museums. The Forbidden city was massive. I was told that there are 9999.5 buildings inside and a bunch of parks and shops. I really wanted to go to Starbucks inside the forbidden city so we went that. The thought that Starbucks is inside the FORBIDDEN city makes me laugh. The place where the kings are burried and there is a starbucks there. I ended up buying a Tuna sandwhich and Ice latte for 49rmb which is around $6usd which is pretty expensive in China. The same price is half of what we paid for on a BIG meal that Wanjun treated me. There we had Duck, curry, rice, vegetables, and two big fish heads. Anyways, going to those two places was very cool. Although there were many people there, Wanjun said it wasn’t that busy so it was lucky for me. We did do a lot of walking yesterday so we were both very sore. After we went to Wanfunjing for some more shopping and I bought some more gifts. That place was very nice and had a lot of high end shopping. Many watch stores that sold Rolexs, Tag Heur, Tissot and many other expensive brands.

Next week we will go to the great wall and do other touristy stuff. Hopefully I can post this post on my blog before we do it or else this will be even longer. I am just using a notepad and I will upload this post along with pictures when I can finally access my blog. Again, sorry for the lack of post but I just wanted to let everyone that whats up.

Oh, if you are in Beijing and want to meet me, my number is 15801255501 so just give me a call or text. Take care ^_^