Today was definitely something to remember. We saw things that we only read about in textbooks and see in movies, but we never think we’ll actually be able to see them and experience them in real life. Never did I think I would be in China visiting the Forbidden City.
Not only that, but the people here are amazing. In the United States, there seems to be this sense of rejection when being exposed to people who are different than you. Here, people look at our differences with curiosity and acceptance. They want to understand us. I think this is something we should take home with us. Also Lulu, our tour guide, was so incredibly generous to us all.
— Camille, Junior, Sociology and African American and African Diaspora Studies
Traveling around the city this morning was breathtaking. Even the smog had a charm to it because it seemed to cloak all the buildings with some sort of mystery. They already look so different, and it’s fascinating how they fade in and out of view. It could also look sort of post-apocalyptic. But with everyone driving around on bicycles, it’s charming.
I could have stayed in the Forbidden City all day. I might have been one wrong turn away from accidentally doing that because the city was so much larger than it let on at first. Every corner was ornate and patterned. Several of us wished we could stay there and do some sort of fashion photo shoot! We felt imperial just being there.
The food! I’ve just been so amazed by the spices and flavors here. I’m trying everything. Today I tried Peking duck (amazing), a green tea paste with bean paste (yum), a dessert shortbread stuffed with purple potato paste (yummier). A $120 black tea (please hide my wallet from me). And dumplings are sort of brilliant for the morning—grab and go steamed bread with veggies and meat inside. I want to make my own version of that when I get home.
Today was amazing, but I sort of missed our Chinese student friends. They add so much value and excitement to exploring. After today I have so many more questions for them. What is their favorite dessert? What do they think of these sites? How do they reflect on their history?
— AnnaRose, second-year master’s student, Human Computer Interaction Design