Today was our first day of classes in Tianjin. Our hotel is just down the Street from Nankai Universities Business School. We were promptly escorted to the top floor of the hotel and shown into an elaborate board room where we went through orientation and met a few of the chinese students who would be spending the next few weeks with us. They were surprisingly fluent in english and even when they thought we wouldn't know what they were saying their pronunciation was still phenomenal. They would have no problem finding their way around America!
After orientation we had dumplings for lunch. They were all really good, but as per usual, my favorite were the pork filled. We had some free time to kill afterwards so we went back to the university and played some badminton and ping-pong with the students in one of their special gyms that are set up specially for them. Dr. Li showed off his skills at ping-pong when we were done, which suffice it to say were better than any of ours.
Its 8:35 right now and some of us just got back from a grocery run. I have to admit that I'm glad to be done with some of the more touristy things we've been doing these last few days. Its nice to not have to heckle over every item and still feel like we are getting a good deal.
I spilled some soy sauce on my button up shirt while getting eating dumplings this afternoon, so I wanted to find a brush to scrub it out at the market. Who knew finding something so simple could be so difficult. I must have come up with 10 synonyms for brush and they were especially confused by my charades. I ended up drawing it on a napkin and two primary school girls came by and seemed to understand what I meant and dragged me over to another section where they were hidden. I never would have found it without them! This whole ordeal took roughly 10 minutes which seems like an eternity when no one understands each other.
I have to close with saying that tonight I learned that our cultures are far similar than anyone would have ever expected. Almost all of my preconceived notions of what to expect here have been shattered. The people are incredibly outgoing and friendly, the cities are the cleanest I've ever seen, the government seems non-existant in the daily lives of everyone, and the cities are far more advanced than I ever would have expected.
Everyone should visit here at some point in their life. China is so amazing!