Aaah, you didn’t think I’d be so categorical and simple- minded as to not acknowledge the other side of the coin, did you? There were things about Da Xue (campus) which provided me with experiences I probably wouldn’t get anywhere else, and which I appreciated incredibly:
#1) How easy it was to integrate with the social scene here. With your three roommates, you got to meet and know friends as of the first night of living at Xitucheng Lu 25. Of course, everyone was equally desperate to figure out how to survive in a rather extreme environment, that pretty much everyone you initially met was a new friend.
#2) That it was so totally different from anything I ever did before. I thought the dorms in Scotland were really basic, but Zheng Fa is in a whole other league. China takes in a lot of international students, but they don’t actually live like the Chinese do. We did, and then some.
#3) The roof- top parties of every weekend in August and September, where Shan and Riad set up their sound- systems under the bare sky, 80 m above ground, and everyone was dancing with the lights of the metropolis underneath and the light of the moon and the stars above.
#4) To (initially) be able to eat real good Chinese food for 6 yuan every day in the canteen.
#5) That I never ever felt lonely in this huge, new country. I got nice, cool roomies, and was placed in the same corridor as Marco S, Ali, Saija, Tom, and Axel. Whenever an essay- writing session proved too tedious, all I had to do was pop out my head and someone would be there.
#6) To be able to drink Glühwein throughout December in the Germans’ room.
#7) To have Hedvig and Emelie on the fourth floor, which was a perfect venue for the occational movie or glögg-sippin’. #Circleoftrust
#8) To wake up and have the whole of southern Beijing in my view (the view from my bed is something else…)
#9) The contest in pimp-my- room which emerged after Marco P decked out our room with quite spectacular decorations. Marco S and C1724 (Ali, Saija, Rosa and Jana) tried to counter- strike with various attempts. Eventually, I think Marco S gave up, but C1724 got a nice niche- thing going on with their ‘winter wonderland’- dorm.