So today I didn’t really do too much and it wasn’t because I didn’t try. I decided to sleep in after two of my more grueling days here. At about 1, I headed to the Financial District. Here, there is a collection of VERY tall buildings. The runt of the group is the Jin Mao Tower. It’s the relatively brownish one in some of my pictures it looks taller, but that’s just the angle. It’s tiny. The next is the Oriental Pearl TV and Radio Tower. That’s the one with the two weird circles. It’s the third tallest radio tower in the world and really helps define the skyline.
However, the biggest baddest of them all is the Shanghai World Financial Center. This towers over the other two. Total height: 1,614 feet. That’s one and a half Eiffel Towers. Or about 300 feet taller than the World Trade Center (without the antenna). It’s tall. On the 100th floor, or at 1,555 feet, is the world’s highest observation deck. It’s the third tallest building in the world. It also has the world’s highest hotel, the Park Hyatt. It’s from floors 79 to 93.
The whole process of ascending to the observation deck is focused on its height. They force you to watch a pre-show where they shout numbers and statistics at you. Then before you get on the elevator, the ceiling lights actually say the number of how high the elevator is as it comes down to pick you up. And then on the elevator, it tells you your elevation. They want you to definitely know that for altitude seekers, this one is worth it. All I can say about the view from the top, is that it truly is a great one. You can see forever and the skycrapers around you look like ants built them.
After going to the top of the tower, I took a walk along the Huangpu River and made my way to the Expo. I met some friends there and as soon as we got to the Spain Pavilion’s Tapas Restaurant for dinner, it began pouring rain. We ate and when we left, I fortunately asked our waitress to bring us giant black trash bags to be makeshift ponchos. We looked like idiots, but it worked. Our friend who didn’t want one got awfully wet. Sadly, everything closed down as soon as we started out because of the rain so it was a very unsuccessful second trip to the Expo.
Since this was a short post so far, let’s go back to Beijing to talk about my campus. At the beginning of one of the weeks, I went out with my friends for dinner and we order something under the name of Pork Sauce Noodles or something to that effect. What we didn’t know is that there was shrimp in the sauce and the noodles. After I ate about half a bowl of the noodles, me and my shellfish allergy were not to pleased to discover this fact. I spent the next three days a little ill. One day, the sun was shining for the first time in Beijing and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get some fresh air.
The school I was at is Beijing University, or Beida for short. The campus is a really popular landmark attraction in Beijing. It’s like going to see Harvard when you’re in Boston. So the grounds are quite beautiful, well maintained, and always very crowded. My classroom was about a 10 minute walk from my dorm and here are some pictures.
First is my rundown dorm building; it was nicer on the inside.
This is my classroom building; it was less nice on the inside.
Here is the famous “Nameless Lake” of Beida.
And the crowning jewel of campus – WuMei! It was the convenience store that was about a three minute walk from my dorm, on campus, and it was fully stocked. It not only had a grocery section, it was also a movie store, an office supplier, a bakery, a bookstore, a clothing store, and a pharmacy. It was all super cheap and everyone’s favorite study break. And that’s our campus!