Eeek, sorry it took me so long to actually write a post from Beijing, but the first night here, my powercord to my laptop broke, so I was internet-less. I'm using a computer at the new Chicago Center in Beijing, which hasn't officially opened yet, but it looks really nice! I think it will become a kind of oasis of English in the midst of China for me. :)
My flights here were good, I flew Bozeman-->Salt Lake--> Seattle--> Beijing, so that was kind of a pain. I was a bit surprised by how hard it was to say goodbye, I wasn't expecting to cry that much ( I cried when we left Bozeman, and then Seattle). On the bright side, sniffling during the flight from Bozeman caused the stewardess to call me "sweetie" and give me extra peanuts, so there were benefits. The flight to China was good, I was a little worried because it was 12 hours. I had a window seat, and no one took the seat next to me, so I got to sprawl out and sleep - 12 hour flights go faster when you sleep through 10 hours of them! (That turned out to bite me, though, since I got to my dorm at 1:00 AM, and couldn't sleep.)
My first couple of days have been basically settling in, nothing exciting yet, although my friend Charis gets to Beijing today, and then we'll be hanging out. I was surprised, too, by how homesick I was the first day (which wasn;t helped by the fact that I think I got food poisoning from the airline food). I don't necessarily think it was culture shock (Beijing is exactly what I expected it to be!), but I just really wanted to be home. So my first three days could be summarized as follows:
Day 1: Look up flights home (Yes, seriously.)
Day 2: Set up a countdown on my phone, and mark the halfway/three quarters points
Day 3: Finally excited to be in China!
The one thing I love so far about being here is that you have a lot more "Aha!" moments than you do at home. Every time someone says something to you in Chinese, and you figure out what it is, there's an "AHa!" moment. Anytime you say something in Chinese and people actually understand, there's an "Aha!" moment. Life is much more exciting when you're not sure people can understand you. My friend Charis gets here today (she lives three hours away), so hopefully she can help me figure out where to buy a replacement power cord.
I'll update more once I have a steady supply of power, and hopefully get some pics on FB, too!