Archive for June, 2009

Beijing Day 1-2 – Culture Bomb

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Sitting at an internet cafe now that’s situated on the University campus. Guess I’ll use this as my main communication network. The trip to Beijing has been the longest time I’ve continously travelled. I spent like 30 hours and more just travelling, flying, waiting etc. I’m still jetlagged.

Ok, so the University (Renmin) is amazingly beautiful. The campus is amazing. It’s so different to Stellenbosch. At night everyone comes out and walks the streets of the campus. It’s like mini-jool every night. I got a Korean roommate, named Sup. Yes, I kid you not! However, he is not the coolest guy on the planet. I went to bed early last night (Sunday) to catch up on sleep. He went out partying, came back 5:ooam and tried to sleep. He couldn’t cause he wanted to gag. So I was woken up by a Korean trying to gag. I left the room, to stroll the campus at 5:30 this morning. It was very calm! But alas, I was actually on the search for decent food. We ate the International Building cafeteria last night and I was not impressed. It’s siff really! I love Western Chinese food way more. This stuff is just disgusting. So I’m kinda constantly hungry now, but I’ll adapt.

After the stroll I went back to sleep. Then at 10 I missioned with friends to get some food again. Walked to a department store across from the Uni. Very big! Afterwards we took a taxi (OMG YAY!) to the computer markets. WOAH. Is that impressive. There are millions of shops. We went into an informal building and was swamped by people trying to sell us things. Was crazy! Once you pointed to something they took it as an insentive to buy. Hell, no. We quickly made our way out there and went to chain stores which was much more civil. Also missioned through an underground mall. Interesting stuff.

I’m currently trying to change my roommate and move in with one my classmates. I hope I can settle it. I would love to be able to have my own comfort zone here in this crazy place! The facilities at the hostel is ok, I guess. The showers, luckily are enclosed, but the shower head is non-existant. It’s like someone showering you with a hose. There are also those “pit” toilets, but luckily there is one normal toilet for those like me.

So far, my Chinese has helped me a  little. It’s great to understand some things. Makes it less daunting I guess. We might be going out for some karaoke tonight, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to. Still very tired. Classes start early.

Cheers for now.

Beijing: -4 Days

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So, I’m almost on my way to Beijing. I’m getting super excited now, yet it still seems unreal. I’m flying Saturday morning and we’re stopping at Jo’burg and Hong Kong. The total flight time will be about 20 hours. Which will be the longest I’ll ever be stuck on a plane. However, I’m not a uneasy plane passenger. I can easily entertain myself. Going to take along my Game Boy and compose some tunes on it, watch in-flight movies, read books and perhaps even catch up on some last minute Mandarin.

I hope that China is everything I hope it to be. This is where I’m getting kinda shacky. I have this image of China in my mind. I’ll probably be faced with an insane culture shock, but I think I’ll manage. The other thing is, this will be the furthest I’ve been away from home and the longest I’ve been without seeing my parents and/or siblings. No, close friends are going, just class buddies. I guess this will an exercise in liberty in as well. Something we all have to go through. Kinda looking forward to it.

The University where I’m studying at sent me an e-mail adress of a girl in Beijing who will help me if I need any help in China. It’s a great thing. Maybe I’ll even get to go have dinner at their home. That would be awesome. She even plays a traditional Chinese instrument, the erhu, which intrigues me immensely.

Slowly starting to pack my clothes. Bought a travel bag thing to hang across my shoulder and lots of other travel paraphenalia. Going tomorrow to sort my finance issues for China and get a sturdy luggage bag.

Oh, on another note: I feel proud for having posted almost every day for a week and a half on I’ll try and keep it up till I go to Beijing. I hope I can still post while I’m there.

This might just be the most productive holiday yet

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As of last Friday, the 12th of June, I’m officially on holiday. I could’ve been on one a week a earlier, but I slept through my English Literature exam, so I had to write the supplementary test. It sucks to wake up and realize you just missed an exam. Believe me, it’s not a good feeling.

However, now it is holiday! For the next two weeks I’m still in Stellenbosch, but then I’m going to Beijing. Stay tuned for more posts on that. However, now I’m finding myself to be uber-productive. I’m going to blog at least once a day on, and me and Simon started a new site I’m So Nerdy which is looking good so far, and rather hilarious I might add. I’m also going to try and blog on other sites like Nerdmag, Lexiblog and MoralFibre

Me and Simon are also working a new music project. It’s sounding good. Prepare to see a brand smacking original tune later this day. I just need to record vocals first.

Enjoy your holiday if you’re on one, if not, at least enjoy the weekend!

Beijing: -23 days – Preparation

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On 27 June I’m leaving for Beijing to join fellow classmates (from 1st-3rd year) along with other international students to study at Renmin University’s International Summer School. I’ve been granted this amazing opportunity, all expenses paid, because I did really well in my first year Mandarin. Yes, kids, it pays to study hard! To say I’m excited is an understatement.

The summer school lasts for four weeks, but our group of Stellenbosch students, unfortunately have to leave a week early because our University starts again on 20 July. Hell, I don’t mind, three weeks in Beijing seems like a dream come true. I’m going to study Chinese and Chinese Politics. With my Chinese classes from Tuesday to Thursday in the mornings for 1h30 hours and the Chinese Politics classes on Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon for 2h30 hours, leaves me with numerous time to explore Beijing. I’ll most definitely be going walk missions in between streets, go to shopping malls, visits small cafes, buy strange stuff and just take everything in.

I’ve been religiously studying Beijing for about a month now, finding out where the best arcades are, the best shops, the cheapest goods, the best internet cafes, the best nightclubs, the best bars. I’m going to start cataloguing everything soon and make my own guide to Beijing.
I’ve also signed up for many newsletters showcasing events, live music and weather reports, so I can prepare myself.

I’m going to try blog as much as possible, tweet as much as possible and take as many pictures as possible. I want to share this experience with you guys! For now, I’m giddy with excitement. Can’t wait!

P.S. – I’m so going to rip it up in the Karaoke rooms!

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