The Joy of Starbucks

Trip Start Jun 03, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The alarm went off too early it seemed. I got ready in half an hour, as Lucy came by at 7:30 so we could have breakfast together. Sara stayed in bed. I really enjoyed the breakfast food today. I had some sort of rolled up savory bread thing and a barely sweet little bread thing. So much for staying gluten-free. I knew, though, that wheat is a major ingredient in the Beijing cuisine, so I just have to deal. I'm trying not to overdo it, but I'm going to just enjoy the food and try the different things I've never had before. Scott joined us for breakfast as well, and he said he had looked for us for 30 minutes last night also. We must have been going in circles around each other.

After breakfast, we all went our separate ways to do our work. After class we met for lunch. It was me, Lucy, Scott, Sarah, Gloria, and Guo. Guo doesn't speak English, but is the sweetest thing. She helped me with my classroom issues on the first and second days. She is always smiling. We were eating and talking, and she was talking on the phone. Next thing I know, she handed me the phone, quite unexpectedly. It was Ada! I had to go outside, because there was too much noise in the cafeteria. Turns out, Guo is Ada's mother-in-law. When Ada told me that, Guo could tell what we were talking about, and could see my surprise, and she gave me a BIG hug. Love her!

I was happy to hear from Ada. She has much to do before she gets here in Beijing. I hope she gets everything done so she can enjoy her trip. I can't wait for her to get here.

At 1:00, Scott and Sarah and I went over to Joy City, which is a big mall and shopping area. It's not at all far from here, maybe a 10 minute walk. He said the escalator, which goes up 6 stories, is the tallest in the world. I told him I road the longest escalator in Hong Kong.

We tried to get Sarah's Korean phone updated for China, but China Mobile couldn't do anything. Scott too was having all kinds of problems with China Mobile, which is supposed to be better than China Unicom. Apparently both are government owned and run. Anyway, they both needed a Chinese-speaking person to help with their issues. They were going to go across the street to China Unicom, so I stayed at Joy City. My first stop: STARBUCKS!! The cashier spoke English, thankfully, and was able to get me a cup of English Breakfast tea on ice, since they don't really do regular iced tea like American Starbucks do. It cost 15 RMB (more than any meal I've had at the school cafeteria, LOL), but oh so good!

I had worn a face mask when walking to the mall. Scott said it wouldn't do any good. I said it was better than nothing. My nose and throat are so irritated from the pollutants in the air. He said, "at least you don't have the Beijing cough yet." Uh...actually I do. I just didn't know it had a name. Bleh. :b

I walked around the mall a little, savoring my iced tea, then went across the street to the Hutong that is being torn down. I guess it was all shops. Scott said they were getting rid of everything and had good sales. Some of the stores did seem to be promoting sales, but it was hard for me to tell what was what. One of the stores was a total Polo knock-off store. I then went back across the walking bridge and went into another big store to cool off. My umbrella wasn't keeping me very cool. My feet were burning. They were having a big shoe sale, so I did the rounds all through the first floor perusing the shoes. I noticed some knock-off Tom's. They did have some cute shoes. Too bad you never know if anything is real or not.

I made it back to the dorm and was ready to collapse. I changed into some cooler clothes, and my roommate helped me get onto the internet. Why had no one told me about the code and password???? I sent an email to my husband through my school account and also tried to log on again to my gmail. Still can't log on because it says someone is trying to log on at a remote site. I always liked gmail. Now I think they're idiots.

We had dinner then a bunch of us (Me, Lucy from Vietnam, Sarah from Korea, Scott from US,
George from Hungary, Chitz from India) went to the entrance of the Forbidden City and Tiannamen Square. On the way we went past the "White House" of China via a lovely walkway with lanterns and lights in the trees. The entrance to the Forbidden City was full of people, who, we found out, were waiting to watch the lowering of the flag. Across the street is Tiannamen Square.

We walked there and then rode the subway back. It was a lot of fun. Twice I got asked to pose in pictures with people. So weird.
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