Dumaguete Sandurot Festival 2011

Because I’m more or less ignorant to the local happenings here in Dumaguete, and I’m not really familiar with fiesta days and the like, I had to hear the sound of the parade and my aunt insisting that I go out and take pictures and watch the parade.

So last November 19, Dumaguete celebrated the Sandurot Festival. So what is the Sandurot Festival all about, and what does it actually celebrate? Because I didn’t fully understand the explanation given to me when I asked, and because the internet has more information on it than I could possibly hope for, I just decided to google it and found something. According to this blog site called Philippine Landmarks,  Sandurot is derived from the Visayan word “Pakig-sandurot” which means fellowship and reaching out, which is basically the characteristic of being hospitable – a common Filipino trait. Dumaguete City is actually called the “City of Gentle People”, so being hospitable and welcoming is in the nature of Dumagueteños.

Nowadays you can see many foreigners who both live and visit Dumaguete, but even in the past, a lot of people from other countries would often come and live in various places around the Philippines. Dumaguete City, in more recent times, has been popular because it is a university city. Dumaguete is most known for Silliman University – the first Protestant university and first American private university in Asia. Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of Koreans in the city. It’s amazing how Beijing is full of them, so is Manila, and Cebu, and even here. Makes you wonder if any of them are left in S. Korea. But seriously, it just goes to show how cheap education and a low standard of living can attract foreigners to flock here. Of course, the kind personalities of Filipinos in general is also one thing to take into account.

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Red is the color of love

Red dress from Metrowalk Manila; Mickey Mouse jacket from UNIQLO Beijing; Blue Jeggings from UNIQLO Beijing; Black soft boots from Westlink Beijing; White Fujifilm Instax Mini25 from Taobao.com

Hype this outfit on LOOKBOOK

I am in love. I am in love with the fact that I’m home. It feels different from Beijing, but somehow it’s soothing to the soul. It feels like home. Despite being a bit jittery over the fact that Beijing is much rowdier and Xiamen is more quiet, part of me loves being back.

Because all our things to do (TTD) were finished, dad let me spend the day doing what I wanted. My aunts and uncles came over to the hotel suite to talk to my dad, and gush over the fact that I’m so much bigger (they don’t mean fat) as compared to the last time they saw me either in Beijing, or from 2004. One of my aunts offered to take me shopping in 中山路(ZhongShanLu), this place near the ferry area where they sell lots of street food and also have a lot of small shops and malls. It reminded me somewhat of 前门(QianMen) back in Beijing, except with a lot more people, smaller streets, and less expensive shops. My aunt took me to one of the malls where my other aunt works, but it was more or less empty as it was still a new mall and it didn’t have a lot of open shops. Now that I think about it, those malls didn’t have a lot of people, but the streets more or less did. The smaller streets reminded me of  南锣鼓巷(NanLuGuXiang) which had a lot of small shops selling various knick-knacks from cutesy items for girls to clothes to shoes and whatnot.

After our shopping trip, me and my aunt headed back to the hotel and I got ready to head to anticipated mass with my dad. Apparently, there are 2 Catholic churches in Xiamen. The one I’m familiar with is the one on 鼓浪屿(Gulangyv) Island which I visited back in 2004, which has masses only on Sunday mornings. This one dad took me to is on the Xiamen island and is said entirely in Chinese. The church itself isn’t large or grand, nor is it something that you can see from the main streets. It’s hidden among some old buildings, and what surrounds it are old buildings from a time when foreigners probably lived in the area as the structures aren’t very Chinese-ish.

Old church?

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Beijing, I’m back!

It’s been 3 days since I’ve back to Beijing, and arriving back all seems so surreal. When I first arrived in Manila, I was talking to a friend and happened to mention that our trip to Beijing seems surreal; and now, it’s Manila that seems so surreal, as if I was never home for the ‘vacation’. Coming back here is quite nostalgic, it’s as if the place hasn’t changed at all…but it has.

Getting ready to leave Manila for Hong Kong

I love you Mcdonalds!

The weather upon our arrival was definitely much colder than back in Manila. The snow from last week is on the ground and not melting, so I get to appreciate at least that. Last time we arrived in Beijing we took the China Southern airline from Manila-Xiamen (stopover)-Beijing. This time, me and my friend decided to take something else, so we took Cathay Pacific’s Manila-HK (stopover 2hours)-Beijing. We were quite excited to take the HK stopover option as it was cheaper than taking PAL (Philippine Airlines) option from Manila directly to Beijing, and me and my friend both love Hong Kong. And true enough, the airport was as I remembered it, or well actually…it was much better than I had remembered it from my last trip in 2007. Wasn’t able to buy anything though Zara was quite tempting (yes, Zara inside the airport!) and well….couldn’t find the Disney Airport store so that was a bit disappointing. The HK International Airport is quite amazing, like a huge maze, and all shiny and new-looking, and quite classy. Our trip to Beijing from HK was supposed to be aboard a Dragon Air plane but for some reason, we rode a Macau Air (?) plane, but oh well, as long as I got to Beijing I didn’t mind much. The plane landed at Terminal 3 so I was quite happy to have seen the illustrious Dragon Terminal which I had heard about on a show on Discovery Channel, regarding its construction and design.

View from our new flat. The white stuff is snow!

Luckily it didn’t take much to get used again to the weather in Beijing, though the air feels quite different. Maybe it’s because it’s quiet, as most people are back in their hometowns for the holidays and such. Maybe it’s the effect of the snow on the ground. Beijing just feels a bit different, and a bit lonelier since most of my friends are back home in their respective countries. It was quite the re-greeting of familiar faces yesterday and awhile ago when I bumped into my schoolmates and teachers. 3 weeks didn’t seem to faze us in the least, it’s as if it never happened. Still, me and my roommate had to have our delicious Korean-styled chicken something from this Korean restaurant that was introduced to us last December by some fellow Chinoy friends. It’s quite oily, delicious but can kill you when eaten too often, but still…soooo good. I missed it while back in Manila.

Favorite chicken dish = 45rmb!

Since it’s back to Beijing, I’ll probably gain weight again from all the oily food and big servings, but I’m going to try to cut down on other foods though I’ll still try to enjoy the food they have here. Will have to see what happens, especially when the weather starts to get warmer in April. Crossing my fingers! But for now, enjoying good food here in Beijing, winter weight, holiday weight, and all those excuses I can’t readily make back home. For now, my quiet Beijing is not really quiet as today is the last day for the Chinese New Year celebration. Happy Lantern festival, apparently. And oh, someone just lit up some low fireworks in the courtyard beside my building, awesome! According to my roommate, this is probably why there are some areas around Beijing that has black snow, it’s probably dirt from the fireworks. Haha.

The cold, the snow, commuting by bus and walking the rest of the way……Beijing, I’m so back!

To Fragrant Hills we go

Sometime during the end of October, my flatmates and I plus my classmate and another Chinoy friend decided to take a spur of the moment afternoon trip to Fragrant Hills (香山) which is not that far from our university. Taking the 331 bus, we made our way from our bus stop to the end of the bus route. After all the troubling transportation problems we encountered with our buses headed to the Fragrant Hills stop, we finally got to the Fragrant Hills stop, and made our way up to the entrance of Fragrant Hills.

There are many entrances that lead to Fragrant Hills, as with many locations in China, tourist areas and buildings have “direction” gates (ex. North Gate, South Gate, etc.). The path me and my companions took, was it South or East…I can’t really recall, anyways it was quite a long path. It’s basically like a road leading and uphill and along the way there are various stores likes food stalls or souvenirs stores that really cater to tourists. So be prepared for drinks and food that might be a bit more expensive than if you bought them outside, examples would be water and sodas. Other local snacks cost about the same, or are a bit more expensive.

Once you get to the top leading from the area which I just described, there’s like a gate that basically announces that you’ve arrived at Fragrant Hills. Here you’ll have to buy a ticket to get in. Students get discounts so don’t forget to bring your id book if you’re a student studying in China. Tickets are reasonably priced. If I remember correctly, student ticket costs 5rmb and the normal tickets costs about 10-15rmb. Inside, there are various places you can enjoy while you’re there. Some places require you to pay extra fees, like we encountered this temple that had its own separate entrance fee. We did not bother going in there. The picture below is the pathway leading towards the temple. I quite like the environment here because there is like an entranceway and trees on either side of the path, it reminds me very much of something from Alice in Wonderland. It’s quite ethereal with the colors of Autumn coming out (but not really coming out) of the leaves and trees.

Another pathway leads to the main garden of Fragrant Hills (for that side of the Fragrant Hills Park). Here there’s a really wide park with 2 small ponds and infrastructures, and a good view of the mountain. Here you have two choices with regard to getting up the hill (more like mountain though), either taking the cable car or climbing up the path. The cable car cost 50rmb, no student discounts when we tried asking. For those visiting Fragrant Hills in late Autumn-early Spring, gloves and proper outfits are required when climbing up or taking the cable car. As me and my companions discovered on our cable car trip going up, being stationary on a cable seat while steadily climbing to a higher altitude does not make one comfortable. Gloves are quite the necessity, so are thick clothes. As I also discovered on my way down, I should have worn proper shoes. My boots (not even uggs) were not at all comfortable on the trek down, as I’ll mention later on.

Arriving at the top, the view of the mountain and the city and the surrounding area is the thing one most definitely notices. Especially at night, the view of Beijing from afar is quite the spectacular perspective. The top of the mountain gives way to views of the park as well as the mountain ranges surrounding the park and the city. Food concessionaires are available at the top of the mountain, like one stall was selling chicken aside from the usual hotdog snacks I’ve seen around Beijing. Prices are a bit more expensive as compared to those being sold at the bottom of the mountain though. Of course a few souvenir stalls can be found here as well, can never get tired of seeing this at practically every corner of every tourist destination in Beijing, unless they nag you silly by following you till you ignore them completely. Trees lined with well-wishes written on red tags decorated part of the top of the mountain as well.

Going down, there are quite the number of choices. Taking the cable car again, if you’re willing to shell out 50rmb again, finding a rent car (not quite sure if it’s the HeiChe aka Black Car that waits for passengers) or taking one of the many paths going down. I went down the mountain with my flatmate, it was the worst experience ever, especially as it was nearing sunset. Bad part of the experience, lack of light, improper footwear and really slanted slopes and walkways that can trip you. It took me and my companion about an hour and a half to two hours to get down the mountain, including quite a number of rest stops to take a breather. The bad part of getting down is that not the entire path going down has lights to accompany you. At times, we used our cellphones to make our way down, especially since the path is not always flat and smooth, parts of the pathway have that humpish design to supposedly add friction between the path and your feet. Those hurt. But those flat and smooth paths were quite hell-ish too since they were sometimes slanted too high and….well you get the picture. The path going down was slow and painful. Stairs were also part of the exercise. Somewhere mid-mountain, the path is much clearer though all the more confusing as the maps and pathways can lead to just about anywhere, depending on which exit you want to leave through. Maps were not too helpful as me and a few locals discovered on our way down. Eventually though, we finally got down the mountain. Apparently two of my friends who had descended the mountain much later than us, got to our meeting place much earlier. I don’t know which path they took or if they took breaks at all but it was definitely a pain in the arse. For those thinking of coming here, flashlights would definitely help a lot.

Because we took too long climbing down the mountain, and we arrived at Fragrant Hills a bit too late in the afternoon, we weren’t able to go around the various places within the park as we would have wanted to. From the top of the mountain, we were able to see that the park was much larger and had more attractions that it would seem from below. Since we didn’t know what things were available, we weren’t able to go around as much as we would have originally liked. A friend of mine went there as well, and I saw his pictures and found a lot of places that I didn’t get to see when I went on my trip, so there are really a lot of things to do when you’re there.

I guess if I had the opportunity to go back I would, and I’d go much earlier and hopefully pray that no bus transportation problems arise so there would be no delays. Also, proper footwear, must remember to go when the weather is not as cold so I can just go in my breathable sneakers. Fragrant Hills is definitely a place to go to, and it’s frequented by many locals and foreigners alike. The surrounding residential areas that sell food and souvenirs treat visitors very well so one would always want to come back (if one has the time). Also as it’s right at the end of a bus route, it makes it an easy place to remember to go to.

I would consider going back in a few months to see what things and places I missed out on.

An Inner Mongolian Episode Day 2 and 3

Our first day to Inner Mongolia was definitely a memorable experience. Who could ever imagine lasting in a yurt for an entire night, whilst praying that morning would come. One of the coldest nights I’ve ever experienced in my life, probably not something I’d like to experience again but am grateful to have experienced at least once.

The second and third day in Inner Mongolia was much easier. For the second day, we made our way to the deserts. It wasn’t as hot as I had imagined it to be, but it wasn’t that cold either. Our tour guide got us a ticket that allowed us up to 5 activities in the deserts. It cost about approximately 150-200rmb. With our ticket, we were allowed to take the cable car back-and-forth from the hotel area to the desert, it also allowed us to ride the camels, gave us a chance on a short train ride and on a desert car. Our ticket also allowed us a chance to sand sled.

View of the distinction between the desert area and the area where grass still grows

Riding on the cable car that was to take us to the desert side

“Security cars” that go patrolling around the area, right beside camel pen

Riding a camel. Riding a camel is not as easy as it looks. The first time we met these camels, they looked really nice, all seated and roped together in groups. Riding them seems like an easy enough task, get on the seat-looking thing provided and voila, that’s it. Getting on the camel was not a completely easy task, even though they were sitting down, the seats were still quite high it was like trying to get on the back of a horse via a stirrup. The camels were made to stand up soon after we took our places, it was a painful surprise, especially for the guys in our small group of 5. As the camels moved, we were tossed forward and backward in our seat. Funny thing about riding a camel is that you notice the oddest things, like how they poop a lot, or how their tails move as they walk, things like that. Getting down from the camel proved an even harder task than getting on. We were given warning as to their moving into a sitting position so we could alight, but it still came as a surprise when they suddenly jerked forward (front feet went down first). My guy friend even said “我的鸟!” as the camel came to its sitting position, wouldn’t have wanted to be him then. Yikes!

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One-Day Tianjin Trip

Tianjin(天津), a city located somewhere to the East of Beijing was quite the city. Last October 10, me and my friends decided to take a spur-of-the-moment one-day trip to this place. Though not really a tourist spot, Tianjin was a wonderful place to spend a one-day trip with the company of friends. From Beijing, we took the subway to this train station (connected from the subway) and took our 30-45 minute bullet train. This was my first time taking the bullet train, so I was quite excited. Funny thing actually, me and my friends almost missed the train. We were heading down the elevator, me and some friends ahead of our other friends, and when we got down to the platform beside the train (amazed at the train and everything, taking pictures and whatnot) we noticed that the departure time was about the same time as our watches. We frantically ran to the cars that corresponded to our tickets as we weren’t all on the same side of the train.

Cost of bullet train (one way): Around 58rmb [don’t quite remember if this is the student price]

Upon our arrival in Tianjin, we took a bus to a stop near the quite famous tower. From the stop, we could see the tower clearly, well besides the foggy sky. I heard from a friend that this tower has a revolving restaurant, so if ever I go back to Tianjin, that’s something I’d like to try.


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An Inner Mongolian Episode Day 1

During the Mid-Autumn holidays last September 22-24, me and my friends decided to join the Inner Mongolian trip of a friend who is studying Mandarin in a nearby Chinese university. He mentioned that him and some other fellow Pinoys would be going on the trip, so we decided to tag along since Inner Mongolia sounded like an adventure. There were a heckload of preparations as we decided to join them the week of the trip, and we needed to be prepared (clothing-wise). While preparing for the trip, I realized that I had left behind my duffel bag at home, so I had to go and purchase a new one elsewhere. Another thing we had to prepare for was the cold Inner Mongolian nights, so I had to buy a fleece jacket at a nearby underground shopping market which my friends frequented. In preparing for Inner Mongolia, buying boots were also necessary as I didn’t have the necessary footwear for the trip. Aside from sandals and slippers, my running shoes were not your normal rubber shoes as they had breathing holes on the bottom and on top of the shoes, plus they were white.

Day 1

Me and my flatmates were out of the house by around 4am (or even earlier than that) as we had to be at the meet-up place by a certain time. Meet-up place = Mcdonalds. Soon after we arrived and purchased breakfast, we were able to meet-up with the other Pinoys who were going with us on our trip. Looking at our group, we actually took up majority of the tour group, with Pinoys taking up more than half of the tour group. We left our meeting place sometime before 6 as the bus arrived a little late, and we arrived at the Inner Mongolian grasslands around noon. On the road heading there, we passed by a few stops for bathroom breaks and at one point even passed by a part that had a great view of part of the Great Wall.

Upon our arrival at the grasslands, we were welcomed by a rowdy group atop some horses. Staying alongside the bus, the men on horses led us to the entrance of the “yurt hotels” as I would simply put them. Our tour guide mentioned that it was a custom to accept the alcohol that would be served as we were descending the bus. Each of us were given a small cup half-filled with alcohol which we had to down, the last person to get off the bus had to down 3 full cups of alcohol. Luckily an American guy we befriended on the trip volunteered to be the last one to get off.

The biggest yurt-looking building in the area was the dining area. We were served with a lot of Inner Mongolian dishes. We even got to see another set of tourists who ordered an entire lamb for their meal. Expensive as it was, at least we had the opportunity to see it for ourselves as we couldn’t afford to order it for ourselves. Haha.

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Been to’s in Beijing 2010-2011

Hi! Making a list of the places/areas I’ve been to during my 2010-2011 stay in Beijing. Includes in-and-around-and-out-of-town spontaneous trips to wherever while on my semester at TsingHua University. Adding to the list as I go to more places.

Continuing this list as I am studying for another semester (Spring 2011). Basically all the places here are in Beijing unless mentioned otherwise.

1. WuDaoKou 五道口 district

2. Summer Palace/Yihe Yuan 颐和园- September 2010, March 2011

3. Ordos City (Inner Mongolia 内蒙古) – September 2010

4. Hohhot City (Inner Mongolia 内蒙古) – September 2010

5. Tian’anmen Square 天安门- October 2010

6. Houhai 后海- October 2010, April 2011

7. Beijing Zoo 动物园 shopping district

8. South Cathedral at Xuanwumen

9. National Library district

10. Joy City mall/XiDan西单

11. Tianjin City 天津- October 2010

12. Sanlitun 三里屯 District (TheVillage, YaShow)

13. Wangfujing 王府井 District

14. Fragrant Hills 香山 – October 2010

15. Old Summer Palace/YuanMing Yuan圆明园 – November 2010

16. Temple of Heaven/Tian Tan天坛 – November 2010

17. Great Wall (MuTianYu area) – November 2010

18. Beijing Nanshan Ski Village – December 2010

19. Jianguomen (Embassies area) – December 2010

20. Beijing Worker’s Stadium

21. The Place – January 2011

22. 天意新商城市场 – January 2011

23. ZhongGuanCun 中关村

24. TsingHua 清华、 BeiDa北大、 BLCU北语

25. IKEA Beijing 宜家家居 – February 2011

26. GuLou 鼓楼大街

27. Dongzhimen 东直门 – Canadian Embassy

28. HuangShan – 黄山/Yellow Mountains (Anhui Province安徽) – April 2011

29. Hongcun Village 宏村 (Anhui Province安徽) – April 2011

30. Thousand Island Lake千岛湖 (Zhejiang Province浙江) – April 2011

31. Forbidden City 故宫 – April 2011

32. Purple Mountain紫金山 – Ming Tombs (Nanjing 南京) – May 2011

33. Confucius Temple夫子庙 (Nanjing 南京) – May 2011

34. Gate of China中华门 (Nanjing 南京) – May 2011

35. Nanjing Massacre Memorial侵华日军京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念 (Nanjing 南京) – May 2011

36. West Lake西湖 (Hangzhou杭州) – May 2011

37. QiBao Ancient Town七宝古镇 (Shanghai上海) – May 2011

38. Nanjing Road 南京路 (Shanghai上海) – May 2011

39. The Bund外滩 (Shanghai上海) – May 2011

40. China Pavilion of the Expo中国国家馆 (Shanghai上海) – May 2011

41. Oriental Pearl TV Tower东方明珠塔 (Shanghai上海) – May 2011

41. Xintiandi新天地 (Shanghai上海) – May 2011

42. YongHeGong雍和宫 – May 2011

43. Beijing’s Confucius Temple孔庙 – May 2011

44. Scitech Premium Outlet – June 2011

45. Solana 蓝色港湾

46. Silk Market 秀水街

47. NanluoGuXiang 南锣鼓巷 and BeiluoGuXiang 北锣鼓巷

48. World Trade Center at 国贸

49. 前门 – July 2011

50. 798 – July 2011

51. Raffles City – July 2011

52. China Science and Technology Museum中国科学技术馆 – July 2011

53. National Center for Performing Arts国家大剧院 – July 2011

54. ShiDu十渡 – July 2011

55. JingMao

56. Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2

57. Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 3

Adding in a travel wishlist for places around China that I’d like to visit when I find the time and money to do so.

Travel Wishlist:

1. Guilin

2. Three Gorges

3. Mount Lu(LuShan) – JiangXi province

4. LuoYang

5. Harbin

6. Tibet

A scenic stroll through the Summer Palace

About a month ago, me and my friends made a sudden decision to go to the Summer Palace located not that far away from my university. Taking the 331 bus from QingHua Yuan, located outside the South Gate of TsingHua University, we took about 20 minutes, a little more or less depending on the traffic. It was a good thing we picked this day to go because the weather changed quickly over the next few days. As my friends and I were talking, it’s the “Summer” Palace, not the “Winter” Palace.

During our research for this trip the day before, some website mentioned that we could do the tour of the place in about one hour or two, so some other friends wanted us to go to some other places in Beijing but as we wanted to enjoy our one-day trip, we decided to just see how the place would be and how long it would take us to leisurely tour around.

[For a better view of all future pictures on this post, kindly click on the pictures to see a larger clearer version. This post is loaded with a lot of pictures. Thank you~]

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Beijing HuanYing Ni 北京欢迎你 (Beijing Welcomes You)

A lot has happened in my first week in Beijing. Sometimes, I feel that it’s not real, but waking up to this new environment everyday just strengthens my recognition of this being so real. The people, the environment, the language, it’s a wonderful feeling albeit a bit scary because I’m always so afraid that at one point, I may not be able to get my point across to them. Haha.

I’d like to say that our first few nights were the most adventurous, but it seems like each day brings new adventures with it. New food, new people, new places, there’s always something new. Our first real meal after we got settled at a hotel somewhere near the WuDaoKou area was KFC. Hilarious, but it was fun. Was able to converse well enough with the lady at the counter. I guess lots of people in this area are really familiar with foreigners, since there are lots of students here (including foreign students). Walking along WuDaoKou area, I think I’ve seen more foreigners than I have back home. There are so many students from the US, from other Asian countries, from England, and elsewhere. It’s amazing, like a gathering of foreign cultures in this one area.

Now, me and my friends are sharing a flat. We went to the dorms at TsingHua and discovered them to be very small and somewhat isolated. Not saying it’s really bad but if we could find something along the same price range that was a flat, why not right? During the first 2 days here in Beijing, me and my friends did a lot of errands like opening bank accounts, visiting the University, and other such things. On our second day to Beijing, we were able to find a nice flat, after much stressful moments looking around and scouting and visiting with real estate agents and landlords.

One thing about being independent is probably the cleaning and fixing everything yourself. So far, we’ve had to buy all our household materials like pillows, blankets, comforters, basins, hangers, water, trash bags, and other such necessities. Cleaning was also so very stressful during the first few days. The last tenants left a few things dusty so we had to do a major cleaning routine. Our place looks pretty livable in now, though our luggages are still in the living room as we can’t find a real place to fit them in. Haha.

In some way, we’re getting used to calling this place home. We’ve even familiarized ourself with a side street that goes directly from the main road – Chengfu Lu, to our apartment complex. Being a local is not too hard though. I’ve gotten mistaken as a local by so many people. Locals and foreigners alike. Every time I go to look at something, people always think I’m just one of them, though the Beijing accent is a bit hard to decipher at times. My Mandarin seems somewhat pass-able though. Even foreign students at my university have mistaken me as a local. On the day I went to get my bike, I was stopped by a Westerner asking for directions. He said 小姐 and followed the greeting with something related to directions and a building within campus. Apparently he was lost. I think he was surprised when I replied in English saying “Oh you mean this building….dot dot dot”. Somewhat relieved and somewhat surprised too. 🙂 Haha. Yesterday i n enrollment at school, I was sitting beside this service table for visas which was already closed and a Westerner came up to me asking something, and I replied in English. When some people hear me speak though, they first ask if I’m not from Beijing/China since I look like a local. Then they guess that I’m from Japan, or Korea, or the like. A guy at the mall I was buying a winter coat in even thought I was an American because among my friends, I had an American English accent. Hilarious, though I can’t deny that I feel flattered as well.

Food-wise though, I’ve been more adventurous than I have back home. Sure, I still ask about the food since I’m still iffy about trying those very dangerous/mysterious kinds of food, but I’ve been trying food from side-streets and local restaurants as well. As long as it’s meat (beef, chicken and pork), I’ll most likely eat it though. The rice and veggies here are so delicious too! It doesn’t help that most of the food here is cheap and has big servings, you just want to eat it all. A few days ago, me and my friends went to this local eatery near our complex that served 25 dumplings for 6rmb! Me and my friend just shared and ordered a cup of rice each at 1rmb. I’ve also already eaten at this Fujian food-serving eatery near our complex, a little taste of “home”. There are so many places to eat in this area, it’s just amazing. Friends from back home are asking if I’ve tried scorpion, but I’ve yet to consider trying it. Haha.

Will end this entry and maybe post something more about Beijing soon. I just love how WordPress is not blocked!

P.S. Sorry, pictures don’t seem to want to come out. Will try to fix it later. >,<