Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First day in China!

Hello from Beijing, China! Blogger is also blocked here (in addition to Facebook), so I'm virtually logged into the Georgia Tech ISYE lab and working on a virtual desktop :)

Apparently the checked luggage limit for flights on Air China is just 1 bag weighing 20 kg for flights to China. For flights to the United States, you can check in 2 bags and up to 46 kg for free. So the ladies at the check-in desk wanted to charge me $518 for my second bag, because my duffel bag weighed 15.6 kg and they charge $30 per kg overweight. That is completely ridiculous, thats more than my ticket cost! This lady told me that I either had to re-pack my bag or pay to check my 2nd bag. My roller suitcase weighed 19.6 kg and the only other bag that I have to carry on is my school backpack, so I just looked at her and told her that there was no way that I could re-pack my 2nd bag. I ended up pulling out my flight itinerary to show them that I was indeed traveling back to the United States from Beijing and basically had to argue with them until they agreed not to charge me anything for checking the 2nd bag.

Okay, after the fiasco at Singapore's airport, I made it through the Beijing airport (I did lose my trusty Gatorade waterbottle somewhere in the airport though) and got to my dorm at Tsinghua University just fine. I bought a sim card from a vending machine at the airport for $150 rmb, it was very interesting. The taxi ride was almost an hour with traffic, and I just dozed in and out the whole time.

My new dorm room is nice, I have my own room in a 2-room suite with a shared bathroom. I believe Holly is my roommate (she hasn't checked in yet because the group flight does not get in until later this afternoon) and we also have a microwave and water boiler in the room-good for making my morning tea. This is what my room looks like:

I like how much desk space I have here. My desk in Singapore always seemed to be a little crowded, plus I had ants.

The bed is a little interesting since the mattress is pretty thin but its not bad, it reminds me of sleeping on a futon couch. I spent most of the day sleeping since I didn't sleep much on the plane. We were provided with 2 pillows and a much nicer comforter here, whereas in Singapore we were only provided a thin knitted blanket. I put my teal sheets and teddy blanket on the bed anyways, so it looks pretty much the same.

And my room is air-conditioned, which is also nice... we are so spoiled in the US where everything is always air conditioned and we have much higher standards of living.

I'll probably take some more pictures later once the whole group gets here and we go out to dinner and explore the city, so check back for an update later tonight or tomorrow!


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