Two weeks in

Hi everyone! Wanted to quickly update while my VPN was still working (they’re going down quickly as we approach the 70th anniversary of the PRoC). 

I’m hailing from the courtyard here at Beijing 80 where I’m currently eating matcha cookies and drinking mango juice, watching these two Chinese students play with a baseball and baseball glove. This is the place we had our roommate party a week ago, the place where we had our first RD (Resident Director) meeting two weeks ago, before our classes started. Now, it feels like this is my life, and always has been. Now, the food isn’t as special, the people aren’t as new, the daily routine has become just that: routine. But on the flip side, ordering food from the cafeteria isn’t foreign—I can name and order dishes in Chinese rather than an affirmative grunt-and-point technique, after running the campus three times with Joel one beautiful evening I can finally say I know where buildings are located and what is in them, and though everyone isn’t new, fresh, and exciting, they are quickly and surely starting to feel like family.

The kids sitting at a park near Beijing 80. Park culture in Beijing is a big deal—morning taichi/kongfu (? not sure the differences please help) and all.

My throat feels scratchy from the dry air/smog situation. I also might be getting sick. Hooray for Nyquil and CVS brand cough syrup—all of which are hidden from the dorm moms and my roommate per instruction from American Councils. It’s crazy to be living that ridge between Western vs. Eastern medicine norms.

Yesterday was around 100 AQI, today’s only at 50—though the skies are blue I have to keep reminding myself that it’s always there. We went to an expat-hangout bookstore yesterday where I bought a secondhand book on the etymology behind certain Chinese characters. Though it’s in 繁体字 (Traditional) which is frustrating, I found my own name!

Hm. Other highlights… Interviews for student council are happening today and tomorrow, I got more 语言班 kids to sign up. Golden hour hit perfectly yesterday evening in the dorms, we spent the day at a park listening to bad saxophone busking and hanging out at a 7/11. The day before was the aforementioned bookstore, a visit to CCTV complex headquarters, and a morning spent looking at reprints of famous Hokusai works at 798 Art District. That was a really. Really. Good day. 

Golden hour at the end of the dorms. My photo of Ella taking a photo.

Hope all is well wherever you are. 


  1. The first steps of a long journey – only about 36 weeks until the end of May, which puts you 5.2% of the way in. (So take these two weeks and multiply it by about 20 to come up with the final length.) 36 weeks sounds short. The last two weeks times 20 sounds long.

    “The road is always better than the inn.” Cervantes

    Great to hear from you!


    PS – for some reason photos #1 and #3 are rotated to the left on the website, and in Gmail apparently Google auto-corrects for the rotation. (In my regular email client they are alas sideways as well.) On your Mac Preview will work BTW.

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