Mystery Haidian!

Alexa Penton
January 14, 2014

One of the most intimidating things about living in Beijing (second only to mastering the language) is learning how to get around safely and efficiently. We IES-ers are lucky in that the city’s bus (公共汽车) and subway(地铁) systems are strikingly modern and simple to understand. (At the end of 2008, the Chinese government introduced a 4 trillion yuan economic stimulus and the Beijing urban planning commission began the rapid remodeling and expansion of the city’s subway system.) The RAs and orientation leaders have thus included “Mystery Haidian” and “Mystery Beijing” assignments to encourage us to learn how to use public transportation in Beijing—with one stipulation: no cabs allowed!

On Monday morning, I joined Connor, Jordan, Charlie, Marcus, and Perry in the hunt for our mystery location: 家乐福, or Carrefour, a popular supermarket not unlike Wal-Mart. Apart from using public transportation systems, we were also encouraged to consult Chinese people for directions. Admittedly, we allowed Connor (a returning student from last semester and experienced Beijinger) to lead our expedition, but we each learned some useful skills along the way: determining which bus to take, purchasing a subway card, reading the city subway map, and navigating vehicular traffic in a country where pedestrian right-of-way is literally a foreign concept. As you’ll see in the short video below, we eventually made it to our destination with all limbs intact and a new confidence about getting around in Beijing. 成功了!

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Alexa Penton

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Alexa Penton and I&#39;m an undergrad at the University of Mississippi pursuing degrees in Chinese Language and Culture and Art History. I started photography as a hobby in high school, and have since expanded my collection to 10 film cameras and one digital. Most of my photos and videos document my travels at home and abroad. I am particularly inspired by the qualities of light, memories, natural history, nontraditional developing practices, and nontraditional portraiture. I call Orlando, Florida home, but can&#39;t wait to spend a whole semester living and learning in Beijing!</span></p>

2014 Spring
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University of Mississippi
Art History
Chinese Language
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