In a city of 33 million, it’s hard to find open space sometimes!!
Every morning I feel like a human sardine. I pack into the subway, and just when I think there’s no more room, we stop at another station and ten more people pack on. In my town in Utah we don’t even have subways, so how busy and how many people there are has really taken some getting used to. There are lots of people everywhere, at every hour of the day!
Local Time: 18:46 – they use a 24-hour clock in China
Time Zone: All of China is on the same time zone. Depending where you are it is called Beijing Standard Time, Hong Kong Standard Time, or Shanghai Standard Time. All of the major cities want the time zone named after themselves.
Location (Latitude, Longitude): Latitude: 39°54′50″N Longitude: 116°23′30″E
How far did I travel this week? 200 km (can you figure out how many miles that is? Hint: there are about 2.2 km in every mile)
How far have I traveled on your journey so far? 4260 km
How did I get around this week? Subway, walking
What was the most interesting place I visited this week? We visited a man-made lake a few subway stops from my house.
Other travel news: When we went to the man-made lake, there was a whole bunch of people fishing at the shore. Their fishing poles were really long sticks with about ten feet of fishing line tied to the end. They would just fling the line with bait out into the water and wait for the fish to nibble. Then they’d hook the fish and pull them to shore. Some of the fish they were catching were gray, but some just looked like giant goldfish! I asked my Chinese friend if they even eat the goldfish. He said only the very poor people will.
Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):
Partly cloudy: 2
What is the air temperature right now? 63 degrees Fahrenheit
What animals did I see this week? There are more and more birds coming out. Rachael said it’s pretty deceptive to walk around because almost every family has several small birds kept as pets. During the day everyone will put their birds’ cages outside so the birds can get air and sun. The birds will chirp at each other. It sounds like there are a lot of song birds flying around, but they’re actually all in cages hanging outside people’s windows!
What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week? The lake Rachael and I walked to was really nice to stroll around. Parts of it were quiet and peaceful, and the trees are blossoming right now. It was pretty and calming.
Other Nature News: In Beijing, one of the things they are dealing with is really bad pollution. When the wind blows out the pollution, the air is really nice. When it doesn’t, the air gets really dangerous and will even burn your nose and lungs. So if the air is not polluted, it means it is windy. It’s a trade-off, but I’d rather have the wind than the pollution!
What languages are spoken here? Mandarin Chinese and a tiny bit of English (mostly “Hello” and “Bye-bye”)
What type of money is used here? Renminbi (also called Yuan or Kuai)
How much does a bottle of water cost? 32 U.S. cents.
What was the best meal this week? Barbecued meat sticks we buy from a street-vendor near our house.
What activity was the most fun this week? Walking around the lake by my house.
What did I read this week? Lots of news from the U.S. about the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as news from China about an earthquake in Sichuan province.
What games or sports did I play this week? I played a game where you kick a shuttlecock back and forth. It’s kind of like hacky-sack, but with a different thing to kick. Instead of the kids playing it though, it’s the older people who play with each other. They’re very good!
Other news from this week: I was also able to volunteer at the U.S. Embassy here. They have a “Meet an American Student” activity, where we just have conversation with whoever wants to show up and talk to us. We talked to a lot of people: businessmen, other students, and people who just wanted to know more about American culture. It is fun to meet them and be able to learn from each other.