Days Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth – 2-5 Sept

Another quick update because Beijing has been… difficult. However, there seems to be an end to the hardships (which, as always, will seem insignificant once all the problems are solved) and I am looking forward to starting work here “for realz”.

Things that have been settled:

  • Yes, I do have a scholarshipped spot at the Philosophy department here at PKU, and the colleagues – students and staff – seem very nice.
  • For the first time ever, I have a room-mate, who is also very nice.
  • Beijing enjoys a dry climate. Too much.
  • The campus (that’s the Yan Yuan campus alone) is bewilderingly large.
  • There’s a lot of broken English floating about on campus signs.
  • At a university, as a person who looks Chinese and sounds Chinese, not actually being completely Chinese is tricky. You need to be ready to take some slack from people who only deal with you in an admin way – they’ll think you’re a bit thick; people who do wrangle your whole life-story out of you will have lots of additional questions you’ll need to answer.
  • The admin though… holy shit on fire. I will no longer have any excuse to complain about admin at Manchester ever again after surviving this lot.
  • Only I will probably complain anyway.
  • I have two Chinese bank accounts, but no money in either of them.
  • Chinese medical exams are no joke.

Things that remain unresolved:

  • I have finally acquired all the documents I need to go to the entry-exit security bureau tomorrow to submit my application for a residence permit. Cross your fingers for me please?
  • In fact, I won’t list any more right now. One target at a time.

Interior of Hangzhou East Station. It takes around five hours, and in the region of 550 Yuan, on a high speed train to get to Beijing South station. Now you know.
View from the footbridge I need to cross in order to get to campus. This does mean that I can’t get uni wifi in my room, even though I am on PKU territory: because I’m not on the main campus. #firstworldproblems



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