Monday, May 31, 2010 First day of class
We met at 9 to de-brief the day before and from 9:30-11:30 we discussed Chinese nationalism and saving face. After class we went to lunch and then we went to the Olympic Park and the Bird’s Nest. So far, many people have found us to be an oddity and will stare at us in public, but at the Olympic Park, people were coming up to us and asking us if we would be in pictures with them. We went into the Bird’s Nest and noticed a tightrope walker walking the width of the stadium on the wires way above us without a tether. We were planning on going on the field, but it turned out that in order to get onto the field, you had to pass a series of physical fitness tests that included sit-ups, tightrope walking, a 50m race, etc. Given that all the girls were in dresses/skirts and most of us were wearing flip flops (not allowed in the tests), we decided to pass on going to the field. We then went to the Forest Park which was enormous and where Microsoft was having a company picnic. Jared, Alisha, Jenn and I then went to Hou Hai (a bar district) to eat dinner. We ate at a WONDERFUL restaurant called “No Name” and the food was delicious! We walked around the lake at Hou Hai, took pictures and sat and watched the sun go down and all of the shops light up. We then decided it was time for bed and went back to Beida. The days are so busy and they go by so quickly!! At the same time, I can’t believe I’ve only been here for two days—I feel like I’ve already seen far too much for it to have only been two days. On the docket for tomorrow is a lecture on Currency and Trade in the morning, followed by a visit to Qianmen and the Beijing Urban Planning Exhibition Hall.
Thursday, June 3, 2010 Fourth Day of Class
This morning we switched up our schedule a little bit. We went to Lenovo in the morning, then lunch, then class. Lenovo was definitely interesting. They had a huge campus and everyone was really nice. The lecture was a little like Aigo in terms of them pretty much just giving us their annual report and telling us how they have progressed as a company in the past year and their philosophy for the future. We went to lunch, had a ton of delicious food again, as always. After lunch we discussed the Taiwan issue from both sides—US and China and how each perceives the debate. After lecture, we decided to wander around campus and went to the lake on campus and took a bunch of pictures. It was a gorgeous day today—not too hot. Actually, the weather during all of our days here has been really nice! The lake was gorgeous and picturesque. After wandering around the lake for a little over an hour, we ate dinner at one of the places we went to for lunch earlier in the week. The food, as always, was delicious. It was a lot of fun though. I’m going to call it an early night and go to bed around 9:30. On the docket for tomorrow is class in the morning, lunch, touring the Summer Palace!