31.01.2010 - 02.02.2010
Not gonna lie that plane ride was long. After barely surviving we picked up our bags and met up with our host families. At this time we each received large bouquets of flowers and there was a huge crowd to greet us. Camera flashes were coming from all directions and there appeared to be a few professional camera men to film us...quite the entrance. Everyone did their best to smile despite feeling overwhelmingly fatigued. I made it to my apartment which is awesome:
Beijing is quite smoggy and I finally see how come the exchange students were so excited to see stars in Newton. I was not feeling too great and, though I appreciated the effort involved in making two plates of vegetarian dumplings just for me along with a handful of other vegetarian snacks, I could not really enjoy it. I live with Mi Wa's parents and she lives somewhere below us with her grandparents. We go to the grandparents' place to eat and the grandpa cooks. So far lots of food gets shoved in my face whenever I go over there and everyone is afraid I am cold. In fact, the apartment is really hot and I haven't been hungry since we arrived in Bejing. Today Mi Wa and I walked around and I saw her huge middle school. We also went to a supermarket where she bought me some snacks. The cars here really don't stop for anything and there is a lot of honking. Spitting is still a favorite hobby amongst pedestrians despite supposed efforts to abolish it during the olympics. So far no one has seemed too excited to see a non-asian walking the streets. No random people stopping to converse with me no requests to take pictures no one even asked me for my autograph! However, it was only my first time out and everyone I passed did stare me down. It was not too crowded on the streets, no where was quite private, but the impression I got was that there would barely be room to walk and people would be bumping into each other to get by. Maybe it was the time of day or maybe this part of Beijing is little less crowded. We ate these candied fruits on a stick, tang hu lu, at the supermarket. http://www.redcook.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/haw-tang-hulu.pngThe fruit translated to Chinese hawthorn and it's a famous desert. It was pretty good. It basically tasted like a candy apple but a lot easier to eat and not as sweet. Maybe more like a crab apple because it tasted tart after biting through the sugar. I also saw an ad for dominos and the pizza looks really weird...not that dominos in the U.S. is attractive in any way. Mi Wa then showed me her room. It's now 2 am in Boston so I'm pretty tired. I also wonder how everyone else is doing with their host families....We leave for our ten day trip tomorrow at some point. Oh and I have a pretty cool phone: http://cellphonefocus.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Alcatel-OT-800-one-touch-tribe.jpg It somehow has an English setting and I even got the time to go to a 12 hour cycle instead of 24. Cool, I guess that's all for now.