Last Day of Beijing (to be continued)

Hello, all. My name is Miranda and I’m a foriegn exchange student from California studying abroad in Changsha, China. This is my blog(:

Okay, now that that’s over…I’m currently in the FX hotel in Beijing. It’s a very nice hotel, everything is black, white and silver. The hallways are REALLY dark, though, which makes it pretty sketchy because it always looks like it’s night. It’s so dark in the halls that the room numbers are lights. I’ve been here for two days, and I’m leaving on a train to Changsha today around 3 pm. The time difference from California is 15 hours, which is pretty confusing for my brain and body.
Lisa, Kazoua and I (they’re also foriegn exchange students from America) walked around near the hotel today because the AFS people didn’t have anything schedualed for us to do while we wait to leave the hotel. There were lots of stores, some dirty-looking, some very nice. I bought Bri a Gaara notebook for 1 yuan, which is less than a dollar. I also got a English-Chinese dictionary for the equivilant of 4 USD. Not all of China is insanely cheap, a lot of it is about as much as in the US. Food is very cheap though, we went to a supermarket along with Benedicte and her Danish friends, where I got Pocky and a Grape-Appl-Peach-Pomegranite drink, which is very delicious. My Japanese roommate, Midori, just woke up, and soon we’re going to the supermarket because she missed breakfast. She’s also going to Changsha. She speaks very limited English but we’ve gotten pretty good at communicating.
When we walk down the street, I get stared at, which I actually sort of like. It’s pretty funny sometimes, this one guy biked past us and turned his head to keep looking at me, even when he was far ahead of us. Speaking of bikes, there aren’t as many as I thought there would be, although the traffic is pretty crazy. There are hardly any regulations, and despite the fact that you’re supposed to drive on the right side of the road, drivers have to navigate around bicyclists and pedestrians so they often drive all over. There are also few crosswalks, and sidewalks are irregular. A lot of China is dirty, although my hotel is definately not. There are lots of stray dogs on the street, which makes me sad and nervous because they just sit in the middle of the road.Drivers are good about navigating around them. Drivers also honk randomly, which is frightening sometimes because you think they’re almost going to hit you. Maybe they’re just saying hello, I’m not sure.
We’re watching TV right now, and man is TV different. Everything is more colorful and “cute” (with the exception of the news channel). A lot of it is very random, and the talk shows always feature people wearing crazy outfits. So far, China’s pretty awesome.

Check out my photos so far @


8 thoughts on “Last Day of Beijing (to be continued)”

  1. Thanks for starting the blog so soon! Can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures and your host family.

  2. That all sounds very exciting, I’m pretty envious of you. Be sure to value this experience. Also, just as a side note, my dad went to China on business and his driver told him that the drivers there honk so that everyone else will know where they are on the road. Its the way they communicate they’re location on the road so that others won’t hit them. Interesting huh?

  3. Hello Miranda:

    Thanks to your Mom for sending me your blog. I look forward to reading about all your adventures. Have fun!

    Annette 🙂

  4. Miranda,
    You have beautifully described your ‘adventures’ so far. We’ll look forward to more.
    I haven’t been able to get your photos yet…

    Harry and Kathy

  5. Hi Miranda, I’m loving your observations. Travelling with the other students coming from around the world reminded me of waiting in a train station in Amsterdam with Svika (Isreali), Isabella (German,) and Daniel (Swiss). The wait for our train was long so we passed the time teaching each other tongue twisters in our native languages. It was HYSTERICAL!

    Over here, my Mom and I went out for Chinese food last Christmas (not much else is open that day, and cooking a big meal for the two of us didn’t make sense.) The host, who’s first language is Mandarin greeted everyone with a heavily accented “Merry Christmas.” To my ears it sounded like “a-merica-sucks.” I laughed thru the whole meal.


  6. how much chinese did you know before you went to china? i am thinking of going next year but i don’t know any chinese, but i really want to learn!

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