There are 2 other students on this little adventure with me named Brandon and Desiree. I only met them twice before we all sat down on that plane together but they're awesome! We all just want to have a good time, embrace as much of the Chinese culture as possible, and make some money while we're here too. Separately we might be completely clueless trying to survive in China but together we've made it work so far (okay they could both probably survive on their own but I'd definitely be dead by now if I didn't have them). After we landed, grabbed our luggage, and made it through Customs we had a joyous time finding a taxi that would take us to our hotel. A sketchy guy came up to us in the airport and asked us if we needed a cab, which we did, so we said yes. His English was super broken but it seemed like he wanted us to take 2 separate cabs since we had so much luggage and wouldn't fit into 1 tiny car. All I knew was that I was not about to get into a taxi all alone with a strange Chinese man that doesn't speak any English. I kept seeing the plot for the next Taken movie in my head so we quickly declined and went to find a van that would fit us all together. We made it to the hotel eventually and crashed so hard. I've never been happier to see a bed in my whole entire life.
Of course I asked a nice British woman to take a picture of us with our luggage! I think I just wanted to let the entire airport know that we're tourists. Maybe I was a bit overeager in getting the first actual picture in China. Couldn't even make it out of the airport.
*Obligatory awkward solo pic with the Olympic stadium in the background*
This was the fancy bathroom inside the fancy tea house. Bathrooms in China give the phrase "pop a squat" a whole new meaning. Or maybe that phrase originated in China because of their toilet situation? I'm not sure. Either way, it's definitely a struggle.
After the tea house we took a ride in some rickshaws. AKA: we paid a man to pull us around on a bike. Desiree and I had an extensive conversation in Mandarin with the driver (we said hi, bye, and thank you). Nailed it. Slowly bridging the language gap over here.
Apparently they eat a lot of eggs. Like eggs and tomatoes here are equivalent to peanut butter and jelly at home. So we had scrambled eggs, chicken and celery, chicken and water chestnuts, some mysterious vegetable that we couldn't figure out, and of course white rice. I forced myself to try everything. Mom, aren't you proud of me? Oddly enough, the unidentifiable vegetable was my favorite. I'd eat that again for sure.
Hépíng yǔ zhùfú!!!!! (peace n blessingz)