The Penthouse Views

Today I spent some time wandering around the neighborhood with friends. ICYC, this is my view from my room. I’m on the top floor of a seven-floor building. The street below is relatively quiet, and it’s pleasant. The sky is always gray-white, and you can’t see too far in the distance. I’m not sure what percentage is clouds/fog of some kind and what is pollution, but it does rain here just about every day. There are often thunderstorms at night, and sprinkles in the afternoon.

And here’s the view in the other direction. More tall buildings and vague sky coloration.

The Grand Tour

My mansion

My dorm room, minus my roommate’s bed. It’s about the size of a regular hotel room. The mattresses are incredibly hard, and the blankets are standard hotel blankets (that’s for you, mom).

My strange bathroom. Ummm…. yeah. It’s basically an over-sized shower with a toilet and sink in it randomly.

BEIJING!

So.

I flew in to Beijing yesterday, and have been wrestling jetlag and mysterious internet signals ever since. The flight seemed short, and I had a window seat, thankfully. The Beijing airport has probably the biggest building I’ve ever been in, and it’s very clean, beautiful and modern.

Beijing itself is an interesting hodge podge. It has the most skyscrapers I’ve ever seen in one place, but everything here seems out of place. It’s the only city I’ve seen that has parks next to freeways and shanty towns next to skyscrapers. The people are very friendly and curious, and it’s fun to try my Mandarin on locals. So far, so good on that front.

I’m living in the dorms, which are kind of like really janky hotels, which is to say that they are much bigger and nicer than American dorms, but less nice than hotels. We get turn down service every day, which is kind of weird and awkward. But we also get air conditioning (yes!) and towels. Our shower doesn’t have any kind of threshold to keep water off of the rest of the bathroom floor, but the water pressure is good and the water is warm. All in all, I think it’s pretty comfortable.