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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009


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Good morning,

It is a pleasant, quiet morning in the courtyard of our hutong hostel. The puddles of rain from last night's bao yu (rainstorm) are drying up as the day begins to heat up, the morning doves coaxing our group awake in time (we hope) for another Beijing breakfast of staple foods like porrige, stuffed bread and wonton soup. We're leaving the dry northern climes of the Beijing region for the heart of the humid southwest today, taking an overnight train to the capital of Sichuan, so this will be our last meal in the northeast.

The last few days have been absolutely packed! This is an incredibly energetic and enthusiastic group, tearing through their daily Chinese lessons and constantly asking for help with the various tasks the instructors give them. We spent Saturday night on the Great Wall, a steep hour's hike from some of the best local village food this group of old China hands has ever eaten in the Beijing area. Exploring the overgrown wall gave some perspective on the enormous amount of energy and resources past rulers have invested in China's defense and growth. Sitting in a protected turret, the group invested some of its own time in exploring our own group communication and dynamics, a difficult task made easier by everyone's maturity and willingness to listen.

We've visited and danced at the Temple of Heaven, chatted about environmental law with the Natural Resources Defense Fund's Beijing staff, explored the hutongs, and even successfully completed a language-intensive scavenger hunt featuring the search for calling cards and items with Michael Jackson's likeness. We're looking forward to another busy week in Chengdu, and will keep you posted with more updates!

zai jian,

Emma, Stew, Sheila and Matt

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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It Really Is A Great Wall

China Comp Instructors,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Good morning, It is a pleasant, quiet morning in the courtyard of our hutong hostel. The puddles of rain from last night’s bao yu (rainstorm) are drying up as the day begins to heat up, the morning doves coaxing our group awake in time (we hope) for another Beijing breakfast of staple foods like porrige, […]

Posted On

07/5/09

Author

China Comp Instructors

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Hey,

We had some long and grueling flights to get to Beijing. The 14 hour flight was quite uncomfortable since the seats didnt recline, but the backing would just slide up and down. Besides the seats though I had a lot of fun playing the trivia game that included all of the plane. Once we arrived in Beijing we took a bus to our hostel, which is actually really nice. The hostel has nice showers and a lot of space. After we spent a few hours taking showers and relaxing yesterday we took a bus to Tianamen Square. It was pretty interesting how all the locals would stare at us as we walked by and some a lot of random people will walk up and try to strike up conversations. I'm having fun so far, the kids are great and the food is incredible.

-Hayden Cook

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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First few days

Hayden Cook,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Hey, We had some long and grueling flights to get to Beijing. The 14 hour flight was quite uncomfortable since the seats didnt recline, but the backing would just slide up and down. Besides the seats though I had a lot of fun playing the trivia game that included all of the plane. Once we […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Hayden Cook

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Im finally in china after a grueling 14 hour plane ride to hong kong THEN a 3 hour flight to beijing. The people are very curiouse to where wer are from. they would randomly come up to us and start asking us what state we are from and what group were with......then there are the people selling stuff in tiananmen square and they keep following you asking you to buy stuff. the kids on the trip are really awsome. The hostel were staying at is called the Lotus Hostel and the bathroom lights are clap on and off....they go off every 30 seconds. The food is actually really good in the cities. we had a family style dinner so we just got big plates of food. Some better then others. Here the larger vehicle has the right of way which i thought was pretty weird. so you have to be very careful when crossing the street. Anyways i will write again soon.

Alec Greene

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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New Experience

Alec Greene,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Im finally in china after a grueling 14 hour plane ride to hong kong THEN a 3 hour flight to beijing. The people are very curiouse to where wer are from. they would randomly come up to us and start asking us what state we are from and what group were with……then there are the […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Alec Greene

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It's official! We are in Beijing, CHINA! It was by no means an easy trip, however. Last night was the first real sleep I had gottensince the hectic 2(ish) days of travel. Once we arrived in Hong Kong we had a three hour layover in which we explored foreign comestibles. I would not recommend dried crab to anyone...ever. We landed in Beijing, but were stopped for our health screening. This involved being shot with temperature guns and subjected to endless gates and barriers in order to reach Customs. After a brief bus ride we arrived at our hostel. Then we were off again to Tiananmen Square.

In the square we were given the assignment of identifying our first impressions of Chinaand what we were shocked by. I was surprised to find that I didn't come across anything in which I was taken aback. I came here with little to no judgements to what we came across. One thing I couldn't help but notice of Tiananmen was the reactions of the people in the Square. I can imagine we ended up in an assortment of the Chinese tourists' photographs. I was onced asked to pose in a photo, and a women nearby set up a tripod adjacent to our semi-circle. This interaction issomething we will have to get used to.

Also, I look forward to really learning the language. I find it frustrating to have little to no way of communicating. When a local tries to talk to me I want to be able to say more than, "ni hao," smile blankly, and turn away. We had our first lesson this morning. I can't wait to use it and learn more.

zaijian!

Erica

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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We Have Arrived…

Erica Haybron,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

It’s official! We are in Beijing, CHINA! It was by no means an easy trip, however. Last night was the first real sleep I had gottensince the hectic 2(ish) days of travel. Once we arrived in Hong Kong we had a three hour layover in which we explored foreign comestibles. I would not recommend dried […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Erica Haybron

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Yesterday, we arrived in China after two days of travel and time zone confusion. After taking a few minutes to freshen up at the hostel, we headed over to Tiananmen Square for our first real Chinese experience. The square was filled with people taking pictures and enjoying the weather. We even saw a mini-protest going on! After splitting up to sight-see, we all got back together discussed our first impressions of China and shared our thoughts about the Square. That night, we went out for some authentic Chinese food and went to bed early to acclimate to the time difference.

This morning we had our first Mandarin lesson! We learned some important phrases:

Qing wen- Excuse me

Wo bu hui shuo zhong wen- I don't speak Chinese

Ni jiao shen ma ming zi?- What is your name?

Wo jiao Jessica!- My name is Jessica!

I can't wait to go out and practice my rudimentary Mandarin on unsuspecting passers-by. Hopefully, by the end of the trip, we'll all feel comfortable speaking the bits of Mandarin we'll have learned to Chinese citizens without feeling like complete tourists.

We're off to the Forbidden City now!

- Jessica

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Ni Hao from China!

Jessica Appelbaum,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Yesterday, we arrived in China after two days of travel and time zone confusion. After taking a few minutes to freshen up at the hostel, we headed over to Tiananmen Square for our first real Chinese experience. The square was filled with people taking pictures and enjoying the weather. We even saw a mini-protest going […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Jessica Appelbaum

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    [post_content] => Well three planes two busses and a short walk later and I've finally made it to china. The trip went by very smoothly and quietly with the most excitement coming from the temperature scans in the Beijing airport. Last night we visited Tianeman square, and then settled down to a delicious authentic Chinese (although apparently Ueger style) meal. The hostel is nice and the mandarin language is definitely interesting I can't wait to see what's in store for us in the coming six weeks!
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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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We’re in China!

Sam Budoff,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Well three planes two busses and a short walk later and I’ve finally made it to china. The trip went by very smoothly and quietly with the most excitement coming from the temperature scans in the Beijing airport. Last night we visited Tianeman square, and then settled down to a delicious authentic Chinese (although apparently […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Sam Budoff

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We are finally in China after much traveling and have already done lots. We visted Tienamen Square which was really cool. It is a very powerful place and has because of its importance has been the center of many events important to world and chinese history. We then went to a Uiger restaurant and had our first Chinese meal of the trip which was good. Today we had our first chinese lesson and I have a very long way to go. Right now I am in an internet cafe near our hotel about to go have lunch and then the forbidden city.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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First day

Oliver Taubman,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

We are finally in China after much traveling and have already done lots. We visted Tienamen Square which was really cool. It is a very powerful place and has because of its importance has been the center of many events important to world and chinese history. We then went to a Uiger restaurant and had […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Oliver Taubman

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Where did June 29th go? We narrived in Hong Kong tired from the flight but excited for our trip to commence. The only thing was we had another flight to go! The flight to Beijing was painless and when we got there I finally knew that i was actually in China and not jsut another airport. After going through customs and getting our bags we hopped on two trains that would take us to the Lotus Hostel where we would be staying for the time spent in Beijing. The hostel was much nicer then I had imagined which was a very nice surprise. We later went to Tianamen square where we watched nthe lowering of the Chinese flag....this was quite intense. After finishing that up, we sat down to enjoy our first chinese meal which was actually pretty good. Our first day in Beijing was great and i cant wait for the rest of the places we will be visiting.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Beijing

Justin Gluck,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Where did June 29th go? We narrived in Hong Kong tired from the flight but excited for our trip to commence. The only thing was we had another flight to go! The flight to Beijing was painless and when we got there I finally knew that i was actually in China and not jsut another […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

Justin Gluck

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first off i would liketo comment onhow relieved i am to finally be in china after an exausting combined 24 hours of flight. once we finally made it into beijing the first thing that i noticed was the organized chaos of beijing. an almost unbearable amount of people everywhere you go all moving with a sence of urgency. this is what i noticed on the bus from the airport. is was only after we got off the bus and began to walk arond that i began to understand everything isnt as rushed as it seems. people have a place to go but will take the time to nod and smile to a traveler and some even are amused enough to wave.

the first activity we did as a group was visit tianamen square. ourinstructors told us that we could explore the square freely and look around to see what we found interesting. besides peering at the stunning architecture, getting followed by vendors and witnessing lowering the flag at sunset the part that i will take the most out of were the discusions that we had sitting in a circle in the middle if the square. "bejing is the center of china and tianamen square is the physical center of bejing" the square we were siting in was the center of china in so many ways historically politically and physically that i knew there i was in the middle of something great.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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chilling in bejing

mitch bowman,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

first off i would liketo comment onhow relieved i am to finally be in china after an exausting combined 24 hours of flight. once we finally made it into beijing the first thing that i noticed was the organized chaos of beijing. an almost unbearable amount of people everywhere you go all moving with a […]

Posted On

07/1/09

Author

mitch bowman

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Yesterday we arrived in Beijing after 21 hours of travel, shockingly I did not feel very jet-lagged. Once we arrived in our hostel we decided to go out in to tianamen square. This was much different from anything that I have ever experienced before, starting with the fact that we were followed by a grown man half way around the square. There are an unbelieveable amount of people trying to sell you things and they will stop at nothing to get your business. After waitingabout an hourto see the flag being raised we were all very hungry but I really thought that I was going to pass out if I did not get any water. When the food finally came out at the restaurant, I got to experience what really chinese food tastes like, and the food kept coming and we ate everything. This morning we went to a restaurant for brakfast, pork dumplings. At first I wasn't sure about the idea of having pork for breakfast, but once I tried it I could not stop. One we were done we went back to the hostel where we had our first chinese lesson.

Caleb

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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First Days in Beijing

Caleb Moran,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Yesterday we arrived in Beijing after 21 hours of travel, shockingly I did not feel very jet-lagged. Once we arrived in our hostel we decided to go out in to tianamen square. This was much different from anything that I have ever experienced before, starting with the fact that we were followed by a grown […]

Posted On

07/1/09

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Caleb Moran

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