Today we were visiting the CUFE, it is a popular business college within Beijing. When we entered the college, we saw a beautiful campus. It was open with lots of green space and all the buildings were built neat and looked new. Our group had entered one of the buildings just as a bell rang. I was surprised considering that I didn’t even have school bells in high school, let alone college. Our day started with a lecture. I honestly did not have high hopes for this lecture, thinking it could be boring, but it was actually quite interesting. We learned a lot about WeChat, a popular social media app, and how it has expanded to having games, pay services, GPS, and much more all in one app. I was already impressed, and it was just the beginning of the day. Next, we saw their library. It was huge, with a large open space in the center that had a view of each floor. There was even the ability to reserve library seats. After our tour we played a game outside. Our group split up into three smaller sections. Then we all stood in a circle and memorized the people standing next to us. We had to then move from our circle create another circle and lock our left hands with the person to our left. This created a huge pretzel of people. Our team move in a fluid motion and instantly had untangled our mess. It was amazing, none of the other two groups were even close to our timing. Our whole group got certificates for our work. I felt like a champion.
Some of the girls and I decided that we really wanted to try some bubble tea. We asked Liliana and Jane, the students from the Asia Institute for recommendations and got a name and locations to find bubble tea. Considering that yesterday we had such difficulties, we decided to be way more prepared. We had pictures also to help our journey. Every worker at the mall helped us, it took us about an hour to find the bubble tea place. I don’t exactly understand why, everyone was telling us to go in different directions. Once we tried the bubble tea it was room temperature, not cold, not hot. It had a white look to it and a milk consistency. On our journey to find Fencha, the bubble tea place, we had accidently met up with other study abroad students from Texas.
As a group we all wanted to see the Olympic park, so instead of going our separate ways we were led by Dr. Lei, Liliana, Jane, and Gabi. The park was huge. When entering the first thing you see on the left side is the cube. It was a bright blue and kind of reminded me of an ice cube. To the right there was the bird nest, it has interloping metal bars and it was a bright orange color. In the far distance you could several long objects. One had the Olympic rings displayed largely at the top while another one looked like a double helix that changed many colors. It was extremely windy, but the lights and sites distracted me from how cold I actually was.
To end the night, we all traveled to a street market. The strip was a long narrow way with tons of food vendors, shopping sites, and people. We walked around and knew we had to get a dessert. There were items like green tea ice cream with gold flakes, waffles with ice-cream, candies, drinks, and so much more. Our pick was this ice cream treat that was topped with chocolate syrup and crispy rice pieces and include five fried dough sticks to use as spoons. It was so good! After walking through the strip a few times, I decided to give bubble tea in Beijing another shot. I order it from a small concession stand and it was so much better than the bubble tea I had had before. It was a sweet way to end a sweet day.