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Making the Unknown Known

In Beijing, things are starting to become “normal,” or more routine for me. I really enjoy being familiar with my surroundings and sticking to a schedule. After Chinese class in the morning, I almost always head to the store that’s really close to school either by myself or with a couple of classmates. I can find everything in that store- eventually. Once I spent 30 minutes looking for Band-Aids. Just in case anyone wants to know, they are in the beauty section! I have a feeling I might just buy everything in the store- it’s so convenient and cheap!

After my much-needed shopping trip, I come back to campus and eat lunch in the cafeteria. One of the coolest things about the cafeteria is you never know who you’ll see. I often bump into my friends or even find families with children. I have even seen an older couple enjoying a large plate of rice together! I wish my college cafeteria had people who were different ages! The only people I ever see are sleep deprived college aged students enjoying a meal. Plus, the best thing about Beiwai’s cafeteria is that the food is both good and cheap. I always order rice and get meat and one more dish to complete my meal. Overall, I can’t complain.

Going to classes also is beginning to feel more like what I do at home. I take notes in my notebook, turn in homework, and answer questions. The only difference is that I have to communicate to my classmates in Chinese. It can get stressful, but Pleco, the translating app always has my back. My favorite thing about my classes is hands down going on field trips. Not only do we get to explore Beijing, we also get to learn about the city and its residents!

One of the coolest things I have seen here that I never see in Texas are shops that sell fruit on a stick. Crabapples, strawberries, and oranges or a combination of the three are a popular snack or dessert and are sold on the streets.

Every day is a new day with different things and different challenges. I am still adjusting to the freezing temperatures and have lost count of the number of times I couldn’t feel my toes or hands. Going outside without at least three layers on is impossible. And every time I go into a restaurant or a warm place like the subway, I always feel like I have to take off all my jackets and sweaters. This process often takes five minutes or more, but I am getting faster and at least will still be warm when I go back outside! Thankfully, it is beginning to get a bit warmer!