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Day 1 @ Beijing Normal University

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Hi all,

I've spent most of the day trying to get my bearings, being stuffed with areoplane food and sort ing out how to ring home, i spend 200RMB (20 quid) on 2 phone cards to make international calls, and they just ring out. I hav managed to send texts though thankfully (and my mum can ring me! :-) )

First leg of my journey from Manachester to Amsterdam was quick, but in fact the flight was late, transfer to the next plane was in 20mins as the plane pulled in early. The 12hour flight from Schipol to Beijing PEK went really slow. I had to manouver my legs constantly due to the lack of leg room and the seat was quite uncomfortable! Not to mention the man constantly shaking his leg next to me! (Now i know how it feels when i do it to others.) Entertainment on board was 9/10 I had chance to watch Big Momma's House 3 and Thor. There was also a TV option, which i didnt use, music where i created my own playlist to sleep to. I only got 2 hours sleep and i'm flagging. There was also games you could play to learn another language.

I got picked up by the BNU reps and spent 1hr on the bus and 20mins in a taxi in a road of choas. A bus near missed us and the driver nearly drove off with our bags in the boot.

I got here, into the accomodation, got surrounded by swarms of information, non of which is yet useful. I managed to freshen up and spend 2hours trying to find out how to ring home and buy water. Later i had a sleep after trying to track down a Korean translator for the phone cards i bought as they were not in mandarin.

My room-mate Jose and i had a kip for 2hours then headed out into the centre to find a restaurant we liked the sound of, but we couldnt find, it. We saw a macdonalds instead and decided that was the best bet for this evening. I'm pretty sure i've not eaten beef, cos i feel quite queesy, that and i think the jet lags now getting to me.

We have the opening ceremony in the morning and i've got to wear a t-shirt 2 sizes too small now for the week at least and then for on trips. Not sure how tomorrows going to go yet, but my plan of action is to have a shower tonight as i'm sweating buckets, sure glad i bought 8Litres of water to last me, not, i well need more. Additionally i have decided that i am going to eat cereal bars in the morning to avoid being ill. Good idea i brought them.

2 things i'm pretty confident on the price of things are that the internet is 4yuan an hour and that i was given 200RMB to get me by as a welcome which has been wasted on the phone cards, makes me feel better i've not wasted my money lol.

My number here is 18810451632. It costs around 50p to 1 quid a min. (Not too sure yet!) You can still get me on my walkman number which is 07519376852 but you need the area code. In fact your best not ringing, just leaving me messages on here.

The things i wish to do tomorrow is to find a restaurant which sells the famous duck that the chinese student reps are promoting. We have also managed to find some information on where to go for snacks. This is called Hu Guo Si Street and we have to get the bus on our own for that (wish us luck!) and to go out of the campus to Xinjiekou which has a large supermarket and noodle bars. I'm looking forward to finding somewhere that does chilli beef, as that is what i had on the plane, and it was delicious, and also firecreaker rice. I think i'm going to avoid soups for the water and things that cannot be cooked to kill off bacteria or be peeled. This has been advised to us. Besides this i feel we are generally on our own to discover things out. Its more disorganised here than at my own uni. I can at least find things out by asking questions back home, here they look at you as though you are making no sense! (We are though as the English language is spoken in a different order of words). I have been told my Mandarin is very good, but formal and i should learn how to speak informally, which sounds a little easier when they speak to you in that style.

Well, thats all i have to say for now. Oh and i have yet to take photographs because everything is going that quick when i'm trying to sort things out that i havent had time to photographs things i've found worth photographing. I should be getting snappy happy soon though and you'll see what it's like here. My first opinion of the complex i'm in is that its like where carol lives with the houses, schools, shops and restaurants all in one little estate.

Zaijin for now,




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Study China Programme 2011

Beijing, China

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