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Chinaland

Chinaland

So the whole Middle East thing got a little tiring, but rather than simply returning to Chicago, I will be spending this Fall at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, located, as the name suggests, in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, China.

Now China’s gonna be a tough nut to crack. Oman is a country of only 3 million, and I still had difficulty learning its intricacies in just one semester. China is, as I think we all know, a nation of over 1.3 billion people. Learning how this country lives and functions will be a round-the-clock endeavor. And just to make sure I don’t get lazy, I’m taking 18 credit hours, which includes 6 credit hours of intensive Chinese (equal to four semesters of Chinese in Chicago).

I’ve been in China now for about two weeks, and it still feels like a haven’t gotten a chance to rest. The timing of this program is a little strange. After a brief five day orientation period, barely enough to time to get over jet-lag, we set off on this semester’s two-week long excursion. We’ve camped in the Gobi, watched Tibetan monks pray, and visited the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang, home of the awesome Terra Cotta Army. After an intensive day of travel from Xia’he to Lanzhou via bus and Lanzhou to Xi’an via overnight train, I’ve finally had a chance to sit and write this lame opening entry. Stay tuned as I embarrass myself, teach myself, and hopefully learn what the Middle Kingdom is all about.

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