Another beautiful day in Beijing! I love getting all the comments from friends and family on this blog. It is so great to hear from you. I hope things are going well for all of you in the United States. I didn’t have time to upload pictures this morning, but plan to do it soon!
Got up this morning, went for a run. I love running in the morning because it is a great opportunity to explore the Tsinghua campus and get a feel for the city. Showered and went down to breakfast. We have a Chinese continental breakfast at the hotel each morning. There are a really wide variety of foods ranging from eggs and cereal all the way to fried rice and a cold peanut salad. I have been trying to have something new every day. Also, we are served watermelon all the time. I love watermelon, but right now I would do a lot for a banana. Chinese people are awesome, but like Americans have their quirks. This morning JB, Diane and Lynne went down to breakfast. While they were up getting their food, a random Chinese man sat down at their table! That is not the crazy part. He had two fried eggs, and to eat them he proceeded to pull a straw out of his pocket, stick it in the egg yolk, and suck the yoke out with the straw. He did it not once, but two times! As Denton would say, “Every day is a school day!”
After breakfast we headed over to the university for class. Our lecture in the morning was managing competition in China. The professor was Xudong Gao. He was the first real communist I have ever met in my life. He was very proud of being a member of the communist party for over 20 years. Did you know that you have to apply to be in the communist party in China? Apparently, they track individuals and only choose the brightest with the most potential. I have some other comments on that part of his lecture, but due to the censorship year, I will wait to post that until I return. I did learn some interesting facts from him. The average Chinese person who works in a fast food type restaurant in Beijing makes approximately $150 per month. He said housing for him, which I am sure is pretty nice, costs about $3000 per square meter in Beijing. You can see what a huge gap there is between the wealthy and poor here.
We went to lunch again at the same place as yesterday and then headed back for another lecture in the afternoon.
After school, we headed out to check out another market area. I had so much fun bargaining yesterday that I just had to do it some more. It is like a sport. So much fun! We bargained until this market closed and then headed to dinner.
JB, Ben, Roland, Alan and I ate at this great place for dinner. After having Chinese food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for several days, we wanted something different. We ate at this really cool restaurant named Alameda. Very hard to find! You walked down a sketchy dark ally, turned a corner, and all the sudden were in a really cool little shopping area. It was a set menu. I chose a chicken appetizer and had grilled salmon for dinner. For 6 people, including drinks, the whole meal was only $150 American! After dinner, JB, Ben and I headed over to a bar. We decided to walk because it didn’t look that far on the map. Like everything in Beijing, it was further than we thought! It was definitely worth the walk because it was a great bar. It is called Suzie Wong’s. It had three levels. The upper level was cool, but sort of for normal people. They played dance music and there were a good mix of Asian and Americans.
5 years ago