Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Random Beijingness

Just a quick update on what's going on in my life:

Last week I went with my econ class to tour the Lenovo headquarters. The building was gorgeous and filled with crazy electronics - as would be expected. We got free coffee (which is the height of luxury in Beijing) and VIP stickers (which paled in comparison to the coffee) and then commenced a tour of the factory. I got to see PCs being made, and going through crazy tests, like high heat and mini earthquakes. We also talked with some of the workers, who all seemed quite happy in their jobs. Awesomely, Lenovo provides them all with apartments near the building, so they only have to pay utilities. In Beijing real estate is crazy crazy expensive, so that's a pretty sweet deal. This picture is of their interior courtyard where any employee can go to "have a rest" and where office employees can choose to work, since it is equipped with wireless. This Lenovo vending machine is also the first place in China where I've seen Pepsi products.

Saturday I played around in the Hutongs for a bit, which is always a good time. The neighborhoods there are just too cute. I also found this billboard in the subway on the way over there. It's an ad for paidui - trying to convince Chinese people that lining up for the subway is cool, and that it's polite to let other people off the train first before you barrel in. Saturday night I was sitting in a cafe waiting for my friend and reading a Chinese magazine when I stumbled across some of the most glorious Chinglish ever, unfortunately it's a bit inappropriate to post on this blog. The actual Chinese was an advertisement for showerheads. Innocent enough.

Sunday I went over to my friend's host family for lunch. Since it was a celebration for her birthday, they made each of the dishes that she's ever expressed appreciation for. Meaning, there was a veritable feast before us and I was so full for the next two days it was ridiculous. All the girls in my Chinese level took our Chinese teachers out for dinner that night, and it was a bit miserable because I just couldn't think about eating more food.

Tonight I'm headed out for Xishuangbanna. I encourage you to Google this destination. It's a pretty sweet place, and I'm getting quite excited. I'll be back on Sunday.


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