Beijing: more facts, observations, and niches (Post #5).

  • Our housing unit is similar to UCLA’s Rieber Terrace and Rieber Vista, which means that it’s awesome. Our room key is a card instead of a key. There are three elevators that travel quickly.
  • Thunderstorms are legit with well over ten lightning flashes a minute. I’ve been spoiled with “It Never Rains In” Southern California.

  • Due to fears of getting sick, I’ve never been so attentive of washing my hands and applying hand sanitizer.
  • Reading Simplified Chinese is like learning a whole new language. I’ve never felt so useless reading billboards and restaurant menus. I’ve also never thought I’d use Google Translate to translate Simplified Chinese to Traditional Chinese.
  • I carry a couple 3×5 note cards and a pen to write down every unfamiliar character/phrase I don’t know to help me retain it.
  • Talking in a Beijing accent is very hard.
  • I’m very anonymous here. Mostly every pedestrian and civilian has guessed that I’m from Southern China and not from the US, which makes me happy considering how hard I’m trying to fit in as a local.
  • My cell phone can type and read Chinese characters. I don’t use it because it’s in Simplified Chinese. I’m guilty of abiding by Traditional Characters.
  • The only safe drinking water is bottled water, or water that’s been boiled for several minutes. Tap water is chlorinated, but contains a lot of heavy metals that would cause upset stomachs. I carry a couple bottles of water everywhere I go. In restaurants, nobody orders drinking water or ice.
  • Winter is the dry season in Beijing. Summer is the wet season, thus the thunderstorms this week. Despite the thunderstorms, the weather can still be up 90 degrees during the day; the ground could completely dry up within an hour depending on the humidity.

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