After a long fourteen hour flight, I finally arrived in Beijing, China. When I arrived, the sun had already gone down, I was completely jetlagged, and in a daze so it hadn’t quite hit that I was on the other side of the world for the first time. As the week carried on and classes started, I began to get a feel for how my time in Tianjin would be. Everyone has been so welcoming, and willing to help as well as curious about us foreigners.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try many different dishes, both on campus and in Tianjin itself. I’ve found that most canteens have several spicy options, which is perfect for me, and a couple vegetarian options for those who prefer it. I quickly learned that the Chinese culture entails eating in a family style setting, meaning all side dishes are placed in the middle of the table and as you crave an item you reach out with your chopsticks to place just a bit on your plate. This is completely different to the American way of eating as we typically serve ourselves all that we wish to eat in one sitting. I had the chance to take part in this way of eating at the TUC-FIU welcoming dinner, at a Hotpot restaurant, and a Korean Barbecue restaurant. Overall, I really enjoyed it as it felt really intimate amongst a group of new friends.