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March 28, 2014 / windlessly

China Chronicles 3.28- Peking University








Yeah, it’s beautiful here. There’s such a contrast between different parts of campus- some parts are crowded, filled with rusted bikes and decrepit corners of buildings, while other parts are immensely serene and beautiful. The PKU students said that it’s not even truly Spring yet.

So I’m staying in a building that provides rooms specifically for international students. I’m in a two room double with a small, modest bed, a long and narrow desk, and of course an air purifier in the corner. My Stanford roommate Bryson and I share a bathroom and a small entrance space that has a table and a TV. Cozy, but much like a hotel room (minus the clean water: Bryson reported that when he first got here and turned on the faucet, it turned brown and then black… and then finally cleared up). The dormitories for PKU students are right nearby. The closest dining hall is about a two minute walk. There is a Stanford Center in PKU somewhere across campus that we visited today as well. Image

Campus is pretty nice. We had a quick orientation at 9am today (complete with Subway sandwiches for breakfast) before we got to meet the rest of the PKU student language ambassadors (about 20-25 of them in all, from freshman undergrads to PHD students). They then took us on a tour of the campus, our first meal at the dining hall, and to the local WuMei convenience store where I attempted to fit my phone with a new SIM card (phone’s currently locked by AT&T). We were informally “paired up” and I had the pleasure of meeting Jason and Bridget, two Master’s students in Economics. But all of the students are incredibly friendly and open, with great conversational skills and adept at both English and Chinese. This whole time I keep thinking that PKU is the Chinese equivalent of Stanford. FYI: the dining halls at Stanford just can’t compete with authentic Chinese food though. The dining hall has 9 or 10 different windows that serve different kinds of food. You walk up to a window, ask (or in my case, point) for a particular dish, and then scan your PKU student ID. Whole meals are easily around 10 yuan, which is like $1.50 US.

We also walked around the outskirts of campus as well. There’s a large sports center, as well as some very fancy buildings for holding conferences. But my biggest surprise: finding out that the PKU sports facility housed the badminton and ping-pong Olympic trainings in 2008!! Incredible.






Anyways, time has already been flying by. With moving in, orientation, and meeting everyone, I barely had enough time to set up my internet, call AT&T about my SIM card, buy some hand soap and tissues from WuMei, and think about blogging. I don’t expect to be blogging every day, but I think this first week certainly merits some commemorating. I’m INCREDIBLY excited. There’s a lot to explore. Even just chatting with the PKU students was such an immense pleasure. For the first time ever, practicing my Chinese is fun and I hope to do more of it. Image


One Comment

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  1. David Zhang / Mar 28 2014 7:02 pm

    Yay! 😀

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