March 30, 2007
We woke up at 6am to pack our things and head to Tianjin. We took the bus to the train station after some of the Chinese students said good-bye to us. The Beijing train station was very nice. It was a huge building with a giant clock tower and marble floors and beams. Outside was a large granite area leading up to the train station with large groups of people scrambling around, or sleeping on their luggage. We found a passenger resting area that you had to pay to sit in with worn lounge chairs. We took turns watching the luggage their while we went to go have breakfast. We went to a Chinese-style diner where we had soybean milk in a large bowl, English muffins with sausage, hard-boiled tea eggs, and fried dough. After breakfast, we got on the train. We were in "soft-class" which was first class. It was 35 yuan, about 4 dollars. Really cheap.
I sat across from two Australian people. They were creating joint degree programs with Curtain University in Australia, and Chinese universities. They were not so much interested in what we were doing in China, but American culture. They told us how they hated that American channels like ABC and Fox take over Australian TV. They also asked us if Americans ate steak every night and always drove big cars that used tons of gas. Then they started talking about politics. They were telling us how they dislike President Bush, but that their prime minister gets along well with him because they are both conservative. They asked us more questions, and talked more. Talking about politics was slightly uncomfortable, but we later changed the subject to marriage and life. The woman told us to find a husband who will compromise with you and look at you as an equal. She said that he should share the responsibility and the sacrifice. It was an interesting conversation, but every second I felt like I was being watched and judged. It was very intimidating. We talked for the hour and a half that it took us to go to Tianjin, and then we went our separate ways. We should have asked for a business card, or some sort of way to keep in contact, but their personalities were so standoffish, I didn't know if they really liked us.
Posted by cdesimon at March 30, 2007 06:42 PM