Hey all, glad everyone liked my letter home.  In a way I kind of wish my life was that adventurous.  Chinese classes started today, which is very exciting for me because my language skills are not quite good enough yet to interact with people I meet out and about.

Below I’ve posted a few pictures of the apartment that the college has given me.  I hope to soon have some pictures of my Chinese friends’ rooms for contrast.  Most of the students live in three room apartments with four people per room, while I live in a room by myself with two Korean students in the room next to mine.  On top of that we get our own kitchen, water-closet, and even laundry facilities on the ground floor of our building.  I live in the lap of luxury, compared even to most of the dorms at my school in the states.  Indeed, the room I’m living in now is probably twice the size of the room I had at Warren Wilson last semester.

Dinner with my Korean classmates.  They don’t speak much English, and only a little Mandarin, but it’s amazing how much you can communicate with smiles and hand signals.

My bedroom…Chinese beds are all incredibly firm.  In fact, in most of the dorms students sleep on hard wood with about two, maybe three inches of padding.  It took me several weeks to get reacquainted with my bed when I came back from China last time.

My kitchen…Hasn’t really had much use yet but my roommates promised to teach me how to make some Korean food.

This is a typical Asian style “squatter toilette.”  Often times it’s one of the first hurdles that Westerners traveling in China must overcome.  I will assure you, it’s really not that bad.  In fact, once you get used to it, you may find that squatting actually helps things move along a bit faster.  By the way, because I’m a foreigner and the college knows how these toilets make foreigners a bit squeamish, there is a regular toilette right next to this one, but I didn’t really think that it was worthy of a photo.