Today, Tuesday May 9th, was our 2nd full day in Beijing. I had no more stomach pain yay.
We visited the Central University of Finance and Economics and were given a lecture on Smart Phone Supply Chain Business in China by Professor Yao. It was cool so I did not fall asleep. Again, yay. A western professor also came up and told us things about China from the view of a foreigner. He has lived here for about 18 years so it was very informative and again cool.
After, we had lunch at the dining hall of the university and it has 3 floors and real food unlike market. This was because everyone ate lunch at the same time. The schedule of this university was like high school in the U.S. Everyone has classes at the same time and there was a bell (a song) that dismissed you and let you know when class starts. At lunch, a couple of the students sat at our table and we talked about the differences between schools in China and America. They have 11 courses a semester but only 2 hours of each class once a week or sometimes every other week. Their PE class is intense and its very hard to transfer schools or switch majors. Then we talked about my hair and I gave a pretty good lecture on it.
We visited their library and it had 5 floors and one could reserve desks to study at a computer and it was super cool. After, we went to their massive exercise jungle gym and saw the different sports that they played during PE. Since the students were still in school we saw how it worked. Boys and girls were separated. Boys played basketball, girls played tennis. We also jumped rope and I did not successfully jump even once but it was fun.
Dinner was like always, food that everyone can share and it was a lot. Our table did not eat a lot and we felt bad wasting food but it is just so much.
After dinner we took the subway to the Laoshe Teahouse. The process of getting a ticket there was fairly easy and we only had to ride for one stop. The tickets were really cheap (3 yuan, less than a dollar) and the security was good. The subway was surprisingly very clean especially compared to subway stations in the states at cities like New York and D.C. We got our stop and there were a lot of people on the street. You would think that we were kind of used to this since China is pretty busy but this was the first time were we actually walked amongst so many people in China. Beijing had not been as busy as we had anticipated so far and this was the first experience, for me personally, with so many people.
We saw lights and of course we got distracted. We took a detour and ended up at Qianmen Street. According to our program guide, this place is “one of the last remnants of the old Beijing. The second busiest walking street in Beijing.” So basically, the crowd after getting off the subway prepared us for the busyness of Qianmen street. There were a lot of people, but it’s understandable since it’s a place that’s very pretty, has stores with cheap products, and had alleys were people carried out their everyday lives. You would think that because it was a tourist destination that people would be used to foreigners. This was not so, many people stared and took pictures.
We went in and found fake yeezys at a store. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take pictures of them but they were cool haha. We continued to walk and ended up turning in an alley and then turning right back around. On our way out, we stopped at this really cool store and I believe it was Japanese. It had very cheap Japanese products and I bought like facial stuff. While looking around, an old woman came up to me and suddenly grabbed my hair. She was speaking to me in Chinese and I just told her “braids.” She then says “ahh” and spoke Chinese to her friend across the room about it. After she finally let go, I continued to shop and when she saw me again she gave me a magazine as a souvenir. I thought I would hate to experience something like that, but on this trip, I’ve remembered that some people are just very curious about types of things and people they’ve never seen before and are genuinely not trying to be rude.
After leaving the street, we went on to our actual destination, Laoshe Teahouse. We got lost so we walked down an alley that was my worst nightmare. Not because it was had creepy old guys, or just scary delinquents but because it had a lot of dogs. I have a very big phobia of dogs and this alley was filled with them and most of them had no leashes. Another person I was with was also scared but we successfully made it out and made it to Laoshe Teahouse. According to our program guide, it’s ” a Beijing old style Teahouse where you can taste tea and water heater folk art performances.” Unfortunately, there were no folk art performances and the tea was very expensive. The place itself was really beautiful and relaxing but we had to pay 100 yuan ( a little over $14) each. It was 80 yuan (around $11.42) per cup and another 80 for the room. This was the cheapest tea available and I’m not really a tea person so I was not able to finish my cup. I had to give it to a couple of the other people I was with in order to not waste money. It was kind of worth it because it was a great experience.
My day was very long but very enjoyable.