University of Wisconsin–Madison

Getting Adjusted

We’ve only been here for a week but it easily feels like a month. Especially with all of the activities we have been up to, it seems like we’ve been running around nonstop since we arrived and I actually love it. It’s fun walking around and finding a new place to eat at every night and waking up early to get a head start on the day. Since the sun rises at like 4:45, I normally wake up at 6:30 or 7 now and have a relaxing morning and make some some Quaker Oats oatmeal (just add water!) and do a little bit of homework.

I have class from 8:30 to 12:05 and then I have an hour lunch break until I get with my tutor, 金老师、and we talk in Chinese for an hour! My brain is pretty fried by the end of the day. The first day, it was dreadful and so exhausting because I was so out of shape from even just a 2 week break, but now I’m getting used to it.
The very first night, a Saturday, we went to downtown Tianjin and ate dinner at a fancier place in a mall. Normally I spend about 1-4 dollars per meal here but that meal was probably $8. So more expensive compared to what we have been spending in China, but still relatively cheap! Downtown Tianjin has so many shops. Lots of young people are there and huge busses that drive on the big roads and yell “get out the way!”

Downtown Tianjin

There are so many cool places downtown so we’re definitely going back. 🙂

My roommate Joan and I in the mall

The next day we had a tour of Tianjin.

Our entire group!

We visited a “water park” and also went to a culture street where I picked up some gifts for friends. For lunch we had noodles and bubble tea. Joan, Daniel and I both went back and got another one after we had finished eating our noodles because it was such a good drink! I think Daniel and I had a kiwi thing but I can’t exactly remember.

After that was karaoke! It was my first time going, and I am sure we’ll go again.

We also went up  天塔(tiān tǎ), this huge tower where you can look at all of Tianjin!

Our dorm is there!

I also got to see a little bit of Tianjin University’s campus yesterday which was so much fun! It’s so large and really pretty.

A monument commemorating the founding year of Tianjin University.

This week has basically been a whole week dedicated to getting to know Tianjin and adjusting to school life again. Yesterday I was out walking at around 5:30 pm and saw so many children and their parents taking them home from school, and adults returning home from work. It is so wild to really think I am living in Tianjin! The culture here is so different from anything I’ve seen in America. I see a lot of people just sitting on benches in parks, and kids playing and a lot of leisurely activities. Seems really relaxing! However there is also slight feeling of hustling to get work done too, and lots of people look busy. We have met some wonderful people already who are so kind to us when we try to speak Chinese and that makes this experience so much fun. The weather here was okay the first couple of days, and by “ok” I mean in the 90’s, and then Wednesday and Thursday it was 104/106 degrees Fahrenheit! Going outside was no bueno. This weekend, it will be like 80’s and even 70’s which will be really refreshing. Here in China, I feel like the word that I’ve been using most is refreshing because I can always go for something cold to drink/eat since it’s so hot all the time!

A huge chunk of us are going to Beijing this weekend, we leave right after 中文桌子 (zhōng wén zhuō zi) Chinese Table, which is where we eat with the Tianjin teachers and tutors and speak only in Chinese.

I will definitely have another post up soon, as I can’t wait to blog about the things that go on in Beijing. Have a great rest of your day!

Joy 🙂