Trip Start Feb 27, 2013
44Trip End Ongoing
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The past few days have been so busy. If I have learned anything before I have started class, it is how to queue. In China, the population is so huge, that queues seem to be everywhere. For each job I've ticked off my list, I have had to wait for so long. Sometimes I have queued only to be told that I was in the wrong queue. However, it is all part of the experience.
Mum and I went off to Ikea early this morning, and bought mattress pads, hanging shelves, boxes and other furnishings to make my room look more habitable. I tried to lie down on my bed yesterday, and it felt like I was lying on a wooden park bench. The mattress provided was only about 2 inches think, and my friend Rebecca (who so kindly helped me out all yesterday) said that it would not be possible to sleep on it
In the last 2 days I have signed up for the gym, got a subway and bus card, activated the sim cards in my phone, registered for a placement test, shopped for some things I left behind and organised a water cooler for my room. The Beijing plumbing system was not built for the amount of people it has now, so the water is not potable. You also are not supposed to dispose of toilet paper in the toilet, or flush any other rubbish down there.
By the end of each day, my feet are aching and my legs are tired. It does feel good to accomplish so much before I start classes, to minimise everything that has to be done after classes start. I have been so incredibly lucky to have had a great team of Mum, Rebecca, Ian and Emily who have all helped me to settle in and be comfortable. I have no idea how I would have managed everything on my own; it would have been too overwhelming.
I decorated my room, and started to clean some of the areas. I scrubbed the walls to try and get ride of the footprints, though they looked to be fairly ingrained in the walls. With some strength, I was able to blur the outlines, so now it looks better, but not necessarily clean
Mum and I then went to the markets that we used to frequent on our tourist trips. We would spend hours in these markets, and go back multiple times. Staying in a different area of Beijing, it took us nearly 45 minutes by subway to get there, which was tiring. The markets have upgraded since the last time I went; gone are the curtains to separate the stalls, now there are glass panels and professional signs at each door. As expected, however, the prices have also gone up, but you can still haggle to get a bargain.
Tomorrow I start my placement tests, and the real work begins. I'm really eager to meet my classmates and to see what is expected of me academically this semester.