The Great Outdoors

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Spring Showers Bring May Flowers

At Peking University, students in the school of Chinese as a Second Language are taken on one expense-paid field trip per semester. Last semester our teachers took us to the Summer Palace and out to dinner. This semester we went to the Beijing Botanical Garden so I hopped myself up on allergy pills and took a lot of pictures. I’d never seen so many flowers in my life.

The Russian Embassy

I don’t have any religious background and in fact have never even attended a regular mass. However, my friend Oleg let me know he was going to the Russian embassy’s Orthodox Church on Easter (which is on a completely different day for them).  I would have liked to take pictures inside but I think it’s important to always err on the safe side when it comes to rules you are not familiar with.

Mountain Climbing

I’ve always wanted to go mountain climbing! There are lots of mountains around Beijing so if you’re into the outdoors I highly suggest this. Oleg and Chelsea took me to this one pretty close to the school. Our other American friend Andrew came along and we got some pretty awesome views.

Criticism of Your Own Country

This year is an election year and obviously the topic of politics has come up a lot lately. Thankfully I have been abroad for the majority of it and it hasn’t been nearly as annoying as I think it otherwise would have been. However, from being over here I noticed something interesting. In China, I actually often feel more at liberty to criticize the United States than I would at home. America is a very nationalistic country, and I often feel like my fellow Americans are very quick to pull the you-are-not-patriotic card just because someone pointed out something we could do better at.

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