It is monday night in Nanjing, China (September 7, 2009) and I just returned from "Birdflu Alley" where I had noodles for dinner and did some browsing at the night market. China is so different and unique and I feel amazed I have this opportunity to come and live here. People in the states have such a negative connotation about China and its ways, and I have to say, a lot of these beliefs are turning out to be false. Yes living here is very different, especially getting used to the ground toilets will be difficult, however, people are so happy here and enjoy living in China. They are so proud of their culture and history and morals instilled in them for thousands of years. It is interesting how the Chinese treat foreigners here. We pretty much could be royalty here for all I know, since they are always giving us free drinks and food. It is amazing how some of these people have so little and yet are willing to give so much to us. The foreign student's dorm is probably the best example. Our dorm has heating and air conditioning, running water, tv, refrigerator, double or single rooms, and great ammedities such as a restraunt on the first floor, a maid service, and laundry services. The chinese student dorms are just the opposite, with at minimum 6 heads to a room, no private bathrooms or running water, and no heating or air conditioning. These students must pay to use public showers and only have enough space for a desk and a bed. It made me upset at first to think that these people who have worked so hard to get to Nanjing University have such horrible conditions, however, I later found out that these students never complain and are in fact used to these conditions, and pay a lot less than we do to go here. It made me realize that the culture is only different, not inferior to mine. I am getting used to ordering food and speaking Chinese to people that can not understand English at all. Today was my first day of classes. I haven't started Chinese language yet because my test in is tomorrow and then the class will start thursday. I did have Chinese international relations today, which went from 2-3:50. I think i'm really going to enjoy this class, especially because our professor, Qing, has so much experience with foreign relations. He can speak very well English as well. He told us that at one point of his life he went to West Africa (Sierra Leon) with the United Nations to help make peace during the civil unrest there. That is an incredible thing he did and I think I could learn from him a lot. I won't talk a lot about the sites I have seen in these blogs, since you can get a lot more from the pictures I posted earlier. I'll try to write as often as I can! Hope you enjoy!
Zaijian for now!