The first day in Beijing was strenuous due to battling the effects of jet lag. After first waking up around 5AM, Chloe and I went downstairs to the hotel lobby to get breakfast at 8AM. We were presented with a mouth-watering array of food — much fancier than I have ever seen in any hotel that I have stayed in. After finishing the delicious food, we went upstairs to the 16th floor for the program orientation. We were presented with the program overview, and I could not contain my excitement for the activities that the Asia Institute arranged for us.
After the program orientation, which lasted for a little over fifteen minutes, a groups of girls and I decided to go around the hotel corner to get some Starbucks. The Starbucks in China has a lot of different items on their menu compared to those in the US. I think I liked the Chinese menu better because they offer more fruity teas, such as mango, blackberry, grapefruit, etc.
Lunch was provided for by the Asia Institute. The restaurant that we ate at was about 10 minutes away from the Great Wall. The food there was served family style, and it seemed like the waitresses kept on bringing an endless amount of food. Although the food was great, it was too much for my table to finish. We ended up giving our food to the guys at the table next to us so that there would be less waste.
The main point of the day was the GREAT WALL! Starting from the bottom, I looked up to see an infinite amount of steep steps. I couldn’t believe that I actually climbed it all, but it was definitely worth the experience. When I reached the top, I had so much fun taking pictures and enjoying the breathtaking view, that I immediately forgot about how much pain I was in from walking up all the stairs.
During the hike, I talked to Francis, one of the program coordinators, and was able to get to know her a little more!! She’s extremely nice, and I got to practice using my Chinese with her.
The journey down from the Great Wall was much more relaxing. We toboggan slid from the top to the bottom. I was able to sneak a video in!!
Overall, it was a really great first day. Although I am exhausted, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s activities bring us!