Making it Through the First Few Days – written 9/14/09

*deep breath*

Pause.

Check the vitals: blood pressure seems to be okay, pulse normal, temperature stable.

Alright! So it’s been a week since I have been in China. Here in glorious NANJING UNIVERSITY. So, let’s just give a quick rundown.

No, there is no free toilet paper, and unless you want to run all the way down 8 floors and walk around the campus to another building, you have to use a squat toilet to do your business. If you are wondering, yes, I have done it several times already. It is definitely a challenge, but there is not much choice in your moment of urgency.

The food is abundant and cheap. Probably the most expensive things I have seen on a menu has been 30 Yuan (about 4 dollars and 40 cents American). A lot of it is more like American Chinese food then I would have expected. Most things are deep fried and covered in salt, from both street vendors and nice restaurants, and much to my chagrin there in no peanut butter to be had – anywhere. It is difficult to get a healthy meal around here, but I discovered a local grocery store where they pretty much sell everything I could need. A full shopping trip there costs about 100 Yuan. I give them the bill, they hold it up to the light to check if its fake, just like back home, and inside I feel like I have spent a lot of money. Then I think for a second, and realize that I’ve spent only fifteen dollars for enough food to last me two to three days; Something scarcely possible in my beloved America.

For the most part I am getting along. I am very homesick, I won’t lie, but China is an acquired taste which I am coming to like quickly. Classes started last Friday. I like all my teachers, and I think with a little hard work I will adapt to the language pretty quickly. I seem to be better at it than I thought. I usually do the ordering when I am eating out with my friends. I think with a little time, and a lot of love from my family and friends, I am going to get through this year a bigger man than when I started.

再见(see you later),
李安 (Liam)

Hey, everybody! My names Liam, and right now I’m living a dream that I didn’t think would come true. I am living in China, studying at Nanjing University for a full ten months. Don’t ask me why I wanted it so badly, I’ve just always been drawn to the culture. Europe sounded too comfortable to me, and there are so many chances for growth and adventure in this country. As for me I like finding a good adventure outside of the mainstream, having a challenge, and reading a few books (at once) when I get the free time.

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