Second Day in Beijing (written by Chloe Bergstrand)

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Today I woke up to sunlight streaming through my window. Thinking it was time to get up, I casually looked at my watch and realized, No, it was not time to get up, it was 5 in morning. Later, when it was a decent hour, my roommate and I met the group down stairs, ready to head out for the day. Unlike yesterday, it was immediately sunny and hot, despite the early morning. We headed to a take-out breakfast restaurant, then walked to our school. After we ate, we went back outside to experience our first taiqi lesson. We then had the first real Chinese class of the China trip, a general review of how to pronounce Chinese pin yin and tones. My class also played several games. One such game was counting in Chinese, but we weren’t allowed to say 7 or any multiples of 7. If you said such a number, you had to perform for the class. The first round started and I forgot about the no multiples rule, and then recited a Shakespearian sonnet. I’d like to say it was quite a rendition, though it wasn’t in Chinese. Some other students preformed cirinthians and the school chapter. We put on quite a show/

That day for lunch we went back to the same restaurant as yesterday, though today we sampled different dishes. After lunch, Emma, Mady, Lianne and I traveled with our roommates to a nearby market to buy supplies for the dumplings/pork stickers (jiao zi) we would be making later. The trip to the market was very fun and enjoyable; we constantly asked how to say different food items and looked at the strange labels. The market itself was big, though our hosts said it was a small market. When we got back to the hotel, the group prepared the stuffing for the dumplings, which included cleaning and preparing some of the vegetables. After that, the dumpling making began. It became a competition to see who could make the most jiao zi. After awhile I started making shapes with my dumplings, which ended up morphing into delicious figurines of some of the zodiac animals. I made the ox, dragon, and rabbit. For Emma I also made a turtle. When we finished making the jiaozi, we cooked and ate them, which was very satisfying.

After dinner we then had a Chinese shuttlecock contest, which is kind of like hacky sack, but with balls that have feathers. I was not very good at it, though some of out hosts were amazing. We then headed back to our rooms, where we could chill and rest, then go to sleep. My roommate and I have been talking for a long time about Chinese and American culture. Despite not visiting any famous places today, it was still very busy and exciting, and I think the jet lag is setting in. it’s time for me to sleep now, to wake up hopefully wake up again to another bright, fantastic day in china