Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 2- Traveling to Beijing

Day 2- Traveling to Beijing

This day was mostly spent traveling. We woke up earlish to meet our group of 50 around nine oclock. After going through formalities we headed to the bus and then arrived at the impressive airport. It even had free wireless. After heading through customs (since its considered an international flight) and getting our temperatures electronically taken (you walk through a machine) we boarded the plane for our three hour flight, which was pretty uneventful. From the airport we headed to our hotel-Ying Hua. The hotel its self was pretty nice and very convenient to the university (we did a university hosted trip through University of International Business and Economics).

After throwing down our bags, Brittany and I headed to the lobby to meet for dinner. After the group had assembled we walked a couple of blocks to a Chinese restaurant. We headed upstairs and were greeted by very Chinese d├ęcor (red, calligraphy, etc). We sat around a lazy susan adorned circular table and were joined by other SASers. SAS really went all out on this meal; we had everything from Peking Duck (which Beijing is known for and I actually really liked) to Orange Chicken to Chicken with Cashews to Broccoli to Caramelized Sugar Apples. It was quite the feast.

After stuffing ourselves (remember ship food=inedible, so any really good food is like heaven), we walked across the street to the university. We had mixers and icebreakers with about 30 UIBE students. It was really cool and interactive. The students all seemed really interested in us and in the United States, many of them had plans to continue their studies there. They seemed politically aware without traces of communism. (I’ll talk about the communism stuff in my reflections). They played music but very few people got up to dance, it seemed that boys and girls dance separately.

After the mixer we walked back to the hotel and fell fast asleep in anticipation of our full next day.

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