Friday, August 7, 2009

Beijing > Seoul

I’m currently sitting in front of my gate at the Beijing airport, waiting for my flight to Incheon.

Even until a few weeks ago, I was wondering how I’d get through the grueling eight-week Duke Study in China language program; somehow it’s already over. After our final exams yesterday, we had our closing ceremony with teachers, language partners, host families, and fellow students. Everything went swimmingly until a picture slideshow presentation accompanied by emotional Chinese pop music resulted in an unexpected intense waterworks show, mostly by the teachers. 我会想念你们!

Things I won’t miss (in no particular order):
  • memorizing characters at 6:30 a.m.
  • pollution
  • soup in plastic bags
  • just about everything related to transportation
  • everyone assuming I’m a deaf/retarded local
  • public urination (children and drunk businessmen)
  • traffic
  • shoddy manufacturing
  • government censorship
  • 1 RMB cent coins (approx. $.0015) that nobody accepts
  • service
Things I will miss:
  • teachers
  • friends
  • host parents
  • jiaozi stands
  • Peking duck
  • Wu taitai
  • KTV (karaoke)
  • artificial currency devaluation
  • recap sessions
  • Gao mama’s tomato-egg-pea-thing
  • blueberry creamsicles
  • unbelievably cute dogs
Reasons I'm excited for Korea:
  • service
  • icy naengmyeon noodles
  • Korean barbeque
  • boutiques
  • good coffee
  • conglomerate-owned department stores
  • haircut
  • street food
  • sushi
  • the renovated Gwanghwamun Plaza
  • (Unfortunately, life will now be ten times more expensive.)

DSIC, 再见! Thanks for a great eight weeks!

And thanks again to the Light Fellowship at Yale for providing the support and resources that made possible my study in China this summer!