Page 5 of lauralisonash Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 3rd 2010

This morning I found out that I am in level 123 for Chinese. This is a higher basic level, I think. It was a tad bit difficult to decipher the course postings as they were all in Chinese and no one there could speak English. I also bought my books. There are six of them. They cost about 28 dollars altogether. Professor Youtz led those who were interested today into the center of Chengdu. We went to ChunXiLu, the fancy shopping street. We also visited Mao Square, which has a massive presiding statue of Mao. A central subway station is currently being constructed underneath. And then we took another bus to JingLi, the first street in Chengdu. Near there we had Tibetan food for lunch. I was surprised, but yak, potatoes, yak butter, and barley were ... read more
Copy Shop advertisement
Told you we are in Epcot!
Chunxi Lu

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 2nd 2010

We had a "campus tour" today, which consisted of a visit to the University museum, followed by a visit to the copy shop to have our passports and visas copied. I do not feel any better oriented. We had a welcoming lunch afterward. It was a buffet affair with desserts :) I sat next to two Chinese students who volunteer for the International Students Department and seem like they will be very helpful. A group went shopping in the afternoon, but I had to stay in my room to wait for the students to come and attempt to install internet again. I waited and read and watched television. They came and told me they were going to be at my room last. So I waited some more. The dormitory cat came to visit me. It meowed ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 2nd 2010

I am super overwhelmed. The internet in my dorm room isn't working. I'm in someone else's room right now bumming off of their internet. I just typed up a nice little entry and then the ethernet cord popped out of the wall and it disappeared. So no blogs for a while. I'll talk to you when I catch my breath.... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu August 31st 2010

The bus sent to the station to pick us up was much too small. We ended up passing the luggage that wouldn't fit in the compartment underneath the bus through a window. Some people ended up sitting in the aisles or on top of the the luggage. But we were so happy to have arrived that we didn't care. My new roommate in the 四川大学外国学生宿舍 (Sichuan University International Student Dormitory) is Sara(h). (Her birth certificate and her social security card have different spellings, so she spells her name both ways). She is a senior at PLU and will be spending a month in Korea after our semester in China. She speaks Norwegian, but doesn't know very much Chinese yet. We are the only students from our group on the first floor of the dorm building (it ... read more

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 30th 2010

Today occurred in two parts. The first part was a free day, to do whatever we pleased in Xi'an. This appealed to all of us. We haven't had enough time to wander around on our own. I followed Professor Greg Youtz to Stationary Street, which is a road devoted to the tools used for writing and painting, but which also has jade and various other traditional Chinese crafts. I did some gift shopping for people back home. While I waited for a man to carve a Chinese chop for me, I watched the little kids on the street partake in their favorite activity: peeing everywhere. One little boy pulled down his pants and peed in the middle of the sidewalk. The man's wife returned with their baby son. He had a slit in his pants, like ... read more
Kids playing.
Twisty skateboard things.
Stationary Street

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 29th 2010

So done with touristing! I am burnt out. Today we went to the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, which lays out the history of China from the Neolithic period until the Tang dynasty. Xian is the oldest city in China. The buffet we went to for lunch had biang biang noodles, as well as mashed potatoes, sushi, pork filled baozi... a very strange mixture of foods. And the only people eating their were western tourists. We then went to a tea tasting, where members of my group bought mugs that change designs when filled with hot water, and lots and lots of tea. Those salespeople should have been celebrating after we left. We went to the Wild Goose Pagoda and the Tang Dynasty Park. I wouldn't have wanted to miss these activities, but I also could have left ... read more
Bi disks
Chinese air

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 28th 2010

Today we saw the Terracotta Soldiers and the Banpo Neolithic Village site. Blah, blah, blah... Nothing good ever happens until the evening. We went to a jiaozi banquet and Tang Dynasty show in the evening. They brought more and more and more and more dumplings: far too many to eat. They could have lasted us for days. But they were good, so we kept eating them. And they are folded into the cutest, most delicate shapes: rabbits, and frogs, and stars... They also served rice wine with our meal, which was sweet and warm. I liked it. The show was the same as one I had seen when I was in China six years ago, and I enjoyed it just as much. Tonight I decided not to go to Fantasy. Instead I went to the Xian ... read more
Ryan hugging a fake terracotta soldier
Real terracotta warriors

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an August 27th 2010

After the airplane arrived and we checked into the hotel, we visited the Forest of Stone Steles, which is a Confucian temple containing many stones carved with Chinese classics. It was very impressive. I could have stayed there and admired it for a long time, but our tour guide, Henry, corralled us with his stuffed smurf on a stick (so we can find him in crowds) and took us up the Xian city wall. At the top of the wall we rented bikes for 20 kuai each. That is less than 3 dollars. Ryan and Professor Johnson checked out a tandem bike, which was hilarious. They almost ran into another tandem bike, which cause a traffic jam. The 8.6 mile ride around the whole wall was an endorphin rush. After sitting all day, it was perfect. ... read more
Hotel room
Wide, white, and open.
The view outside the window.

Asia » China » Beijing August 27th 2010

Hi everyone! I haven't had a chance to update since I have been here. Internet connection at the hotel cost money, so I opted out. Today we are headed to Xian, but our flight was delayed a couple of hours so I have a chance to use the free airport wifi (after scanning my passport into a machine so that the government can keep track of me). Our trip began with a bit of a mishap. About half of our group's visa entry dates had expired. So the majority of the Pacific Lutheran University students were left behind, while Clare and I (the LC students), Ben (Chicago), Cara (Nebraska), Shannon (PLU, but she was in Trinidad for the previous semester so sent in her passport late), and Greg Johnson (PLU philosophy professor) went ahead. The flight ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Great Wall of China August 26th 2010

Rather than go to the hotel buffet for breakfast today, Clare, Ryan, Ben, and I walked down an alley across the street from the hotel. There were tons of little stands selling food, and even a shop selling birthday cakes. It is Clare's 19th birthday, but she didn't want a cake. We all bought 包子for breakfast. I got a steamed bun with pieces of green onion in it for 5 mao-- 1/16 of a dollar. Ben found a sort of fried burrito with egg and veggies in it. I can't wait to buy this kind of food all the time in Chengdu. We drove to the Great Wall in the morning. There were two options. Take the right hand path, which was steeper and more crowded. Or take the left hand path, which had much fewer ... read more
The jade showroom

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