Archive for November, 2009

My Ode to Starbucks

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Oh Starbucks, we’ve had such a tumultuous relationship.
I haven’t given you the respect you deserve.
I used to avoid you because of the appeal of locally owned, organic alternatives.
I used to scorn you.
But things will be different now, I promise.
Never again will I look down upon you.
When I was lost in a country whose language I could not speak, and who’s endless tea I could not stomach, you were the only one there for me.
The smell of your coffee, perfume.
The taste, the taste.
Sweet ambrosia, nectar of my life.
The mornings we spent together were magical.
Toffee nut latte.
Dark cherry mocha.
Coffee.
I don’t care if no native on this continent has been “eagerly awaiting” your holiday flavors as you so hopefully proclaim.
I have.
Oh, Starbucks, I will never forget the kindness you have shown me on my journey.
I love you, Starbucks, and I don’t care who knows it.

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在中国。。。we celebrate Thanksgiving with ten hours of finals and Beijing roast duck!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 26, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

It’s been harder than I thought to be gone for so many holidays and big developments.  Thanks to all of you who have kept in touch with me on the other side of the world.

I have just finished my last final, successfully wrapping up my semester at Peking University.  Don’t ask how they went, it was painful.  Yay pass/fail!  I will be very happy to be back at DU with my favorite professors.

My last day at my internship was on Wednesday.  Actually, through a miscalculation I didn’t actually have to go in on Wednesday, but had forgotten to pick up my evaluation form from my boss, so made the hour trip, picked up my things, then came an hour back.  Lol.  Oops.  The journal I have been working on was printed finally, so I picked up a copy of that too.  It is very exciting to have our names on the inside cover of an international policy journal.  I may frame a copy.  If you want autographs, hit up my people. 😉

It has been a very busy week (I know, I know, have I ever posted a blog that said, oh I’m so bored I have nothing to do…?!).  I had five or six papers due, finals to study for, places to visit for the last time…  But now it’s done and I’ve more or less survived!  We leave tomorrow night for the two week study trip, which we are all very excited for, then are back in Beijing for a day, then HOME.  I have greatly enjoyed my experience here and have learned so much that I never would have otherwise, but I am now completely firm in my belief that the United States is the best place in the world.

The program took pity on us for missing some of the holidays, and has arranged for us to go to a big dinner tonight.  We are going to a Peking roast duck restaurant.  Thanksgiving, China style 🙂  I had a brief feeling of sadness at not getting turkey, but then I realized this is a much more appropriate way to celebrate while in China.  When else can I celebrate Thanksgiving in China in a Chinese restaurant with Chinese people eating a famous Chinese dish?  Lol.  So I’m excited.  I’ve had duck before here and it is scrumptious.

It will also be the last time I see some of the friends I’ve made here, since they are on different study trips and might not be back in Beijing the same time I am.  So it will be bittersweet.

The rough itinerary of our study trip is at  <http://www.studyabroad-china.net/study%20trips.html&gt; I’m going on the red line.  It will include the terra cotta soldiers, the panda reserve, amazing scernery, etc.  My boss said that Longsheng was his favorite place in China, so that is exciting.  I can’t wait to see more of China than just the NE corner.

Well, my finals started yesterday at 9am and I just finished a couple hours ago (10am the next day!), so I think it’s nap and shower time.

Before I leave, here is proof that I am making the face mask trend catch on amongst us non-Chinese:

What I’ve been up to… And more excuses for why I’m not blogging.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Number one excuse:  It’s finals week.

Now on to what I’ve been up to.

Last Saturday we went to the Olympic Park, and saw the bird’s nest and watercube.  Actually, the watercube was closed so we literally just saw it.  The bird’s nest we toured.  It is, in fact, huge.  And looks like a bird’s nest.  Really it’s exactly the same as it looks on T.V.  We’ve driven by it a hundred times on our ways out, but this time I got pictures.

Afterwards, we went to tea street and enjoyed some tea ceremonies.  We were educated on the ways of tea (in Chinese though, so I don’t promise that I actually understood anything), drank lots and lots, and then made some purchases.

Sunday I spent all day at an internet cafe working on papers.  Monday, I went to work, then spent the rest of the night working on papers.  Tuesday, I….  am at an internet cafe, supposedly working on papers but really blogging.  Notice the theme?

Saturday is my last day in Beijing, after that we are taking a two week study trip around Southern China — visiting the terra cotta soldiers and panda reserves and such — and then back home, to eat so much cheese and coffee it’s disgusting.

And yes, if you’ve noticed from the pictures, I’ve taken another step in sinofication by wearing a face mask.  Not just for health, but also fashionable.  And, it keeps my face warm.  Win.

 

Pub Golf ~ Lucky 21

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Well, as many of you know, Sunday was my birthday.  21 to be exact.  Now, again you naiive readers may be asking yourselves, how does one celebrate a 21 birthday in China, where there is no discernible drinking age and therefore no novelty?  False.  We are American college students, and therefore where there is any excuse, there is a monster party.

I, with the help of another girl who had a birthday a few days ago, organized a big game of pub golf for the program.  For those of you unfamiliar with pub golf, as I was until organizing the game, you find find one version of the rules at <http://idios.co.uk/> and here is the  scorecard I made to give you an idea what it looks like:

Pub Golf Scorecard

Well, the game went fantastically.  About 30 people showed up to play, and at least half of them made it to the last “hole”.  It was a lot of fun.  Spending the night running around Beijing, drinking and hanging out with my favorite people in China – what better way to greet another year?

Thanks for all the birthday wishes from everyone who sent them ~ via email, facebook, skype, card, phone, etc.  I was a bit overwhelmed logging onto anything that day, there were so many!

Today the program bought me and Eric (who’s birthday is today) giant cakes with fantastic Chinese-y exploding fire candles.   So, considering that we started pub golf last Saturday night, officially was on Sunday, which is actually on Monday due to the time change in the States,  I think my birthday has been continuously been celebrated for four days now.  I’m so spoiled.

Unfortunately, that also means I have not written my term papers like I should have!  Time to get back to work.  I have another three papers due next week, in combination with the big one I turned in last week, and then finals are next Thursday.  Ughhhh.  I cannot believe I am only in Beijing another week and a half. (Then off on a two week study trip, which will be so much fun)(but finals first, which are not so fun).  My last day at my internship is next Wednesday, which is almost perfect actually because we just sent the issue we’re been working on since I arrived to print, and we should have it by then so I can snag a copy.  Ok, well enough about leaving, I will write another post about that!

Here are a few pictures from pub golf:

The Cat Whisperers

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Since I arrived I noticed that there are dozens and dozens of stray cats around campus.  I, being a cat person, loved this since it felt like I still kind of had pets here.  I always in the back of my mind wondered how they sustained themselves, but just accepted the fact.

Well, a couple days ago I found the answer.  In addition to cats, the campus is also inhabited by cat whisperers.  More specifically, what I believe is happening is that there is a club on campus that goes around, feeding, watering and sheltering the kitties.  I discovered this fact when a friend and I stumbled onto a cat village, where the cat whisperers had built a dozen little kitties houses and go around feeding them in between classes.  We were playing with the cats when all of a sudden a man appeared and all the cats immediately ran to him.  He then dropped food for them.  We thought he was just a good samaritan, until we found similar food piles surrounded by cats again, and again, and agian.

I have dubbed them the cat whisperers, and have found a new love for the Beida campus.

798

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Yesterday we took a trip over to 798, the modern art district.  It was awesome.    The area was, of course, as everything is here, encircled by a guarded cement wall.  Inside – the first sign we had stumbled upon something wonderful – was graffiti.  And giant sculptures.  Of disgusting, warped, crazy things.  There were  about a hundred galleries and, even more impressive, dozens of legitimate coffee shops.  Like, they had Tilly expresso (i.e. real coffee).  So great.  Proof that angsty artists and their followers are the same on every continent.

Disillusionment

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2009 by jenniferautumn

Remember the snow I was so excited about last week?  Well,  we have all been manipulated and lied to.

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2009/11/02/beijing-snow-man-made-in-china/

Though, I have to question if this really works as well as they say, or if it’s the Chinese going “look!  it snows because we communists tell it to!”