A Beijing Beginning

Hi everyone! I’m in China right now. As it is, that sounds very weird, as if I’m just here on a vacation, and will be returning to my apartment in Madison any day now. Instead, I’m here until July.

My post today will have to be brief. I’ll try to write more later. All I can say is that I’m surprised by a lot of things here. For one thing, I was under the impression that English was commonly spoken and understood here. No, not at all. I’d be lost here if it wasn’t for Allison’s near-fluency with the language. Though I have gotten to the point where, by gesture and context, I can understand enough to carry out basic transactions, and even get taxi service. Umm… also, yes, the air is incredibly polluted. It’s very smoggy, I’d say, three out of every four days, minimum. China, I’ll explain later, is also a land of contradictions – a harsh police state obsessed with order, and yet a place where many laws are shrugged off, and followed by few.

Anyway, I’ll write more as I can. The important thing for now is that I wanted to confirm that yes, I’m alive, and yes, the Great Firewall is beatable, and yes, I’ll be able to continue blogging here. The food is wonderful, I’ve already made new friends, and my new landlord is about the coolest landlord I’ve ever had. And… again, as I’ll explain later, in China, Mao has been killed by two usurpers, who now rule China jointly – Santa Claus, and Col. Sanders of KFC fame. Stay tuned!


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