Ok, so after the first two days I felt a little distraught. How was I going to cope etc. But alas, I’ve found my zone. Monday night’s karaoke got cancelled so I went to bed early after a Game Boy jam at a park on campus. I donned my earphones and made some tunes, was a nice solace. Tuesday I woke up with renewed vigour. Sup, alas again came in like 4am in the morning, but he at least wasn’t inebriated. Tuesday classes began.
We have class in this HUGE building. It’s insane. I’m taking pictures, but it doesn’t do it justice really. My first class was Primary Chinese at 8. I went to class… no-one was there. For a moment I hesitated my schedule times, but a girl came in and said that the times have changed to 10h. Which was good. The HUGE building was near the west gate, one I don’t normally use. So I decided to stroll around the streets to while away the time. Walked a whole block, just scoping out the shops and things. Then I noticed it again: the smell. I forgot to mention, Beijing has weird smells. Like really distinctive smells. It’s like gag inducing smells. The one this really strong aromatic oil type herb smell that’s always near restuarants and in our dorms. It’s really overpowering. I’ve gotten slightly used to it now, so it’s better. The one other smell is this siff sewage smell that you encounter walking on the streets. Also disgusting.
Anyhoo, as I got back the campus, I whiled a little more and went to class. What a snore fest! The class was way too easy. I’ve since moved to Intermediate Chinese with other classmates. The classes are truly international: Chinese, Korean, Israel, Belguim, Italy, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Canada etc. It’s really interesting. After class I chilled a bit, got some food at this place on campus: Hollywood. It’s like Western food, but done in a Chinese way. Some of the stuff still have this distinct Chinese flavour, but it’s my go to place for munchies now. The portions are huge though for like really cheap. You pay 22Y (R26) for 6-7 huge chicken drumsticks fried in batter (KFC style) with fries. Really was too much to eat. The cokes cost 2Y (R2.5)! Have since ate some eggs and bacon there and some fries; also the place has free Wi-Fi so I chill there while I check my email. I’ve also found this really nice snack in the convenience store at the res. It’s a peanut butter sandwich in a really poofy bag. Funnily enough the company that makes is called Bimbo. haha. There is also a strawberry jam one. Yum!
The afternoon I had Chinese Politics. Wow, it’s really interesting, however it has relative crazy workload. We have to hand in essays and read readers before class etc. But it’s a small price to pay for the interesting Chinese Politics landscape. Really enjoying it! After class, which ends at like 5 in the afternoon I missioned back to dorm to chill and prepare for karaoke. YEAH BABY! To my surprise my roommate was gone! I was elated, he went back to Korea. However, if he comes back sooner, or someone else moves into my room, I can always move in with Mark, one of my classmates, ’cause his roommate also left! WOOP WOOP! Was so happy about it!
So at 6pm, we all missioned to this undeground karaoke place, 15 minutes walk from the campus. It was hella fun! You get a buffet and cooldrinks with the karaoke. We sat this big room with soft couches and it had this big screen projector displaying the words and such. The mics are a little too loud though hahaha. We sang many Western classics; Uptown Girl, Bitter Sweet Symphony, Big big girl etc etc. Was really fun. I was they had these in South Africa. It cost each of us like 54Y (R75) for a big room+free buffet (which alas was Chinese, blegh) and cooldrinks. Booze was expensive though. We were about 14 of us.
Afterwards at like 10pm we still had some buzz left and decided to mission to Propaganda, a club in Wudaokou, which is a popular foreigner hangout. It was one crazy experience! I’ve never been to such a crazy place before. The place is fairly slim, but is has three floors. Graeme, one of the third year students, described it as a more classier Terrace. Because we were foreigners we got a lot of attention and preferential treatment. We pay half price for drinks! I got a double vodka and coke for 10Y(R12). Which is great! Not that much cheaper, but still a good price. The dance area is downstairs. It looks like a dungeon area. The music was this really gangsta type music: ala shake your booty and grind music. The Chinese are not afraid to get jiggy when the music and booze start flowing. I’ve never seen so much grinding and dry humping in a club before. The girls were hit on like crazy by the Chinese guys. Some just can’t take a hint, lol! There also this really androgynous looking kid, which was really really tiny; like scarily contortionist tiny. She, wish we figured out later, asked Stephanie if she a was a lesbian and swooned around her telling her how beautiful she was. WTF!
Anyhoo, I’m definitely going back there. Very cool place. We stayed until about 1am. I got back with a taxi while Sound of Silence came on the radio. Loved it. This morning, I was a little sleep deprived (+1 for partying and not roommate coming in early like a nocturnal Korean bat). Went to Intermediate Chinese. The class is understandable, but I still struggle to speak on spot. This will definitely force me to improve! The afternoon we decided to mission to the electronic stores again. Again I was amazed. Last time we only checked one floor, now we missioned throughout all the floors. I found the gaming area+arcade! It’s so awesome. I wish I could buy more things, but customs won’t allow me to take it back. There’s a drum controller for 400Y! SUPER CHEAP! Licenced games cost 200Y! I got some nice Mario figurines and saw some awesome stuff to get for my friends. Will go back there in the last week, after I’ve scoped every place! Got lost in the building a few times, but we managed to get out safe. Had some munchies at McDonald’s there. SALVATION! It tastes like the early BP mornings.
Alas, now my time is almost up here at the Internet cafe. Have to mission. We’re going to Wangfujing tonight, a famous night street market! Also sorry about the photos. Don’t have my docking bay with me. Will have to buy a cheap memory card reader somewhere, but I’m afraid to go into the cheap markets, for the fear of being swamped again. Haha.
Cheers for now