Saturday, September 8, 2007

Da Jia Hao

Da jia hao! (Hello everyone!) I'm currently at an adorable little cafe (with wireless internet!) that could be sitting in Chapel Hill. It's so lovely - they even have really good coffee, which is a rarity in China.

Life is going well. My classes aren't too bad, but they do require daily studying and homework. I had my first test on Friday, and it went very well except for the listening comprehension. It's a definite weak point for me.

China is quickly turning me into an extreme cheapskate. The other day we decided to go to the restaurant downstairs in our dorm instead of the dining hall, and I remember being a bit put out because that meant lunch would cost me 10 yuan instead of 5. (I recently bought a very expensive dictionary, whether you count it in yuan or dollars, so I’m trying not to spend too much money on food.) Of course, once I reminded myself that this meant the price of lunch was increasing by about US$.70, I was fine. (It’s about 7 yuan to 1 US dollar.) Now, not that 5 RMB is the price of most meals in China, but that fact that I can get lunch for about 70 American cents points means I’m going to have a hard time buying food in the US.

We went to a Pizza Hut for dinner, and at 50 yuan per person, it was one of the most expensive meals I’ve had here. (roughly US$7.00) The prices were so “expensive” because it was actually a nice sit down restaurant – appetizers and everything. It occupied the entire top floor of a building downtown (21st floor, perhaps,) so it boasted an impressive view of the city.

I’m not the only cheap person in China though. They had a salad bar that costs 28 RMB, which is a lot for China, although it’s also the only place I’ve yet seen that offers salads. A woman there was really getting her money’s worth out of it though! She was starting to stack up pieces of watermelon when we ordered, and by the time we got our food, she was still there, with layers of watermelon cubes and cucumber slices about 9 inches high! It was incredible. One of the girls wanted a picture, so she and a couple guys went over, and at first they tried to take it without her noticing, but then they asked if we could take a picture, and she was fine with it. She even posed with her tower for them. I don't have the picture, otherwise I'd post it.

There is a large Buddhist temple just off campus, and they have gardens there as well. These lily pads are probably a couple feet in diameter.

This is also from the temple complex. I actually haven't been to the temple proper, as it started to rain while we were exploring, so we decided to come back another day.

I think this is all the program participants. I think this is from the day we visited an old military fort, but my camera ran out of batteries. At some point I hope to get someone's else's pictures.

KFC and McDonald's are incredibly popular here. There are some slight menu variations, for example McDonald's serves taro pie instead of apple, and you can buy egg custards at KFC. The Chicken McNuggets taste the same though!

1 comment:

Anna said...

I would like you to know that a cheap meal in Paris costs about 8 USD. We are going to have a very difficult time going out together after this semester...