China is an interesting place. To express or put into one word, I can only think of effervescent. China is what you make of it. There is a scene or place for everyone. If you enjoy learning, there is a crowd for it. If you enjoy exploring, there is so much for you to find.
When I thought about China, before I came here, I didn’t know what to think. Research only gives you one side of China. Many places focus on the good or the bad, when there are many on both sides. China is… effervescent. So, coming to Dalian, is polar opposite of little West Plains. The first thing I noticed was the upfront honesty. From the cameras plastered on any wall not falling down, to the smell of the sewers, China doesn’t hide much. It is a wonderful feeling. In America, we hide things. From trash to our feelings, we don’t want the average person to see.
So, lets talk about the good things.
It is surreal, last Saturday I had my first surreal experience. I was on the roof looking onto the city. China is beautiful. At this time, I am really intrigued by photography. I can usually take a picture of what I see, this time I couldn’t. There was a… je ne sais quoi quality. Moving on, the food is great and cheap! Currently, the exchange rate is about 6 yuan to one usd. Food can range from 4 (breakfast) to any number you want (usually 25 if you eat very nice and with variety). Compared to back home, everything is cheap. But, if you are buying electronics, take a Chinese friend with you – they can barter. China barters on many goods. The people you meet here are great. Many can understand pointing and little English, which is good.
Now some bad things…
China is dirty. When you have such a large population, it is hard to stay clean. The college (which is stairs only), only has two people to clean all floors. The dorms, are actually pretty good, but things get dusty very quickly. The beds are the box springs with a pad on top. So, pretty hard. Sarita got food poisoning last week. Again, the cleanliness is different than the states.
My views will be different than most, my memory is very, very bad. Theatre is an interesting class. You watch movies all hour. Being of the American education system, answering questions out loud (whether wrong or right) is easy for us. For many of the Chinese, it is hard. So you will have an easy time. I also am taking Chinese. This is very hard for me. The average person in our class is fine though. I work in the AC (Academic Center) 20 hours every week. I worked with kids for 40 hours a week back in the states. That was easy compared to the tutoring. This can be frustrating at times. It is a lot of fun if you can keep the right mindset. Jackie always said that you will get a broken paper in, and it will leave slightly less broken.