Day 1, Yantai

November 08, 2009

Going back about a month to my first morning in China. The trip here was more arduous than my previous two trips to Asia. Somehow it was more exhausting, due I think not to the length of flights but the my overly cautious planning of layovers. After NYC to Seoul and a five-hour layover there (from 2:30 - 7:30 a.m., so most of the food shops were closed), I had to wait in the Beijing Airport for nine hours before flying to Yantai. Despite what Paul Goldberger said in the New Yorker, Terminal 3 is not a place anyone needs to spend nine hours. It was, however, the last place I had a good cup of coffee.

I arrived in Yantai at about 7:30 p.m. and was met by Jack Liu, the volunteer coordinator who would drive me to Longkou the next day. Jack took me to a dorm at Yantai University, where I spent the first night. I was too tired to eat the instant noodles he gave me.

What follows are some pictures from the next morning on the Yantai University campus. Above is my breakfast in the student dining hall. The drink is a warm milky thing with the flavor of corn. I was starving so it was delicious.

[Please note that the Image entries contain unapologetically large photos and lots of them—may be slow to load!]

Hopeful Enterprise

Day 1 in China. This is Yantai University, where I spent my first night after landing at Yantai Airport. Later that day I was driven to Longkou, where I am now.

Hopeful Enterprise

The track at Yantai U. Something rather Soviet about it.

Hopeful Enterprise

Even though it was the week of the National Holiday (more or less China’s Fourth of July), students at the university were up at 7:00 a.m. and practicing English. At first I was confused by all these students standing around a rather dreary fish pond, but then I heard them mummuring random English sentences—extremely random.

Hopeful Enterprise

Breakfast in the Yantai U. dining hall. The room is large with a low ceiling and dim lighting. Around three sides are stalls selling various foods (for very cheap, less than $1US for a full meal). It wasn’t crowded because the school was on holiday break, but a few students came and went.

Hopeful Enterprise

Also the dining hall.

Hopeful Enterprise

Architecture at Yantai U. Dubious.

  1. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 :: 02:22 PM

    I am very much looking forward to reading more your experience in Yantai .... the coffee part, i can really relate - i was looking high and low to get a good cup of coffee from local places in Beijing until eventually i gave in to starbucks :D, xx

  2. Tony —
    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 :: 03:03 AM

    Interesting that the track is the one part of the university that doesn’t look like it was built yesterday. I guess the interior dining hall looks a little timeless, too. Reminds me of the cafeteria at the bottom of Carlsbad Caverns. Is it in a basement?

  3. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 :: 01:04 AM

    The dining hall is on the first floor, but it feels like a basement. The cafeteria here at Nanshan Bilingual School is much better—a proper gradeschool dining hall with windows to line up and get food and trays and chopsticks.

  4. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Saturday, December 05, 2009 :: 05:36 PM

    SAM! greetings!  I’m erika’s roommate.  Just wanted to drop a line and mention I think your journey and blog are AH-MAY-ZING & Brilliant.  Please keep up the poignant entries and the hilarious photo captions (e.g. like the architecture one above).

    Be well.

  5. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 :: 07:02 AM

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