Registration Day

On the next day, I had to get up pretty early so I can be on time for the registration. I got there at about 8:30 and I left at about 11:15, so yeah, it was a pretty long wait.. The procedure itself takes almost no time, but there are a loooot of people waiting to register. After I was done with this, I had to open a bank account. So here is where things get a little complicated.. In order to open a bank account, you have to have a valid Chinese mobile number, but in order for me to do that I had to exchange some Euro because the card costs RMB 200 and I didn’t have enough.

BUT, they told me I had to come the next day to exchange (I don’t know why) so that’s what I did. And today, I got up early and went to bank.. so the bank opens at 9:00 and I was there at 9:10 and there were already 33 people before me. Even if you just want to exchange some money you have to wait.. and you have to fill in some papers and show your passport, so it’s not a very fast procedure like in Bulgaria. So I went to buy a SIM card, which was a lot harder than I expected. The girl there said they don’t have any (or more likely that she didn’t understand what I wanted so she sent me to another place). And the campus of Tsinghua is a VERY big place, so I had to walk around 15-20 minutes to get there in the pouring rain.. yeah, I don’t think I mentioned that it was raining..

I had to wait for the other place to open because they open at 10:00 and a kind lady there explained that I should go to another place, which was at the bottom of the map, so maybe another 20 minutes of walking. Even though she didn’t know any English somehow I understood what she said to me, which is nice. =D

I ended up not going to that place, because it was too far and I decided that I should go to the bank and just use my friend’s number. When I passed the “China Mobile” shop I saw that there was another lady so I thought maybe she could help. It wasn’t very easy, but I was fortunate enough to get one of the three SIM cards left..

After that, I got just in time for my number in the bank! Remember the 33 people before me? Three hours later they were on №30, so everything turned out quite nicely.

Tomorrow, I have an opening ceremony at 2 PM, so I will update after that!

On the way to China

So I’ve been in China for 2 days now and I finally have some time to write in this blog.

First, I wanted to share something about the flights and how they were.

The first flight, which was Bucharest-Vienna, was about an hour and a half. We arrived on time, the “snack” was nice and the seats were very comfortable. There was a lot of space around the seat, so it was cool. By the way, I used Austrian airlines, for both flights.

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This is what the “snack” looks like. They offer you either a chocolate wafer or some salty crackers (in this package there were around 7-8 crackers, so it’s not much) and for drinks you have a lot of options – orange/apple juice, coffee, tea, water, 5 different types of wine… etc.

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After arriving in Vienna, I had about 3 hours to spend at the airport, which seems a lot, but they passed quite fast.

The first thing I noticed on the plane were the seats. They were so much smaller than the previous ones and they were very uncomfortable, too.. But somehow, 9 and a half hours passed fast..oh yeah, and I could not fall asleep at all so I spent the time by watching movies =D By the way, one of the movies I watched was “The age of Adelaine” with Blake Lively and I really enjoyed it, you could check it out if you’d like.

So maybe 1 hour after we took off they started serving the dinner. They offered either a vegetarian pasta or chicken with something. Since the chicken smelled really nice I chose that. =D

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I’ve heard many people say that airplane food is awful and that you shouldn’t eat it, but.. I don’t know if I was just very hungry or what, but I really enjoyed it! I think it was delicious, especially the desert, which was a yogurt with blueberries. Oh yeah, the Chinese guy next to me thought the yogurt was some kind of a topping for the chicken (well, he didn’t eat it so it was okay). =D So, chicken with rice, a small salad, a desert, a cup of water and a cup of orange juice and a small bread was more than enough food for a tiny person like me (but not enough for some Chinese people who ate this for some.. 5 minutes).

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture for the breakfast, but I will try to describe it the best I can. It was a long, cold (yeah, it was served cold) sandwich, with some bacon and salad and it was very tasty. And I also had a smaller, sweet sandwich (I think it was with peach marmalade), which looked more like bread crumbs to me.. but it was also delicious.

So the plane arrived on time, and when I got to the airport it was pretty empty. I got through passport control pretty quick and it was time to take a small train to pick up my baggage. Fortunately, as soon as I located the belt for my flight, I saw my baggage, so I proceeded to the next passport control, where they check your luggage and after that you’re free to go!

I wanted to take a taxi, because I had way too many stuff to walk and take a subway/or any other transport. I got into a taxi, I told the driver where I wanted to go, and we drove off. The trip was about an hour and there wasn’t that much traffic so we got to the northeast gate of Tsinghua pretty fast. For anyone wondering how much I paid for the trip from the airport to Tsinghua – since Tsinghua is more in the beginning of Beijing, and there wasn’t that much traffic, I ended up paying RMB 148, which was great.  After I registered in the Zijing building №19, which was a pretty fast procedure, I proceeded to my room, about which I will talk in another post.