Posted by: daradoodle | September 4, 2008

Zhege What? Zhege Who?

Wow… the word that comes to mind when describing my first four days in Shanghai.

I am a list person, meaning that I like to make a list of tasks to be completed throughout the day and as the day progresses I hope to have completed most, if not all of the tasks at hand. I learned my second day in Shanghai that I need to poo-poo the list habit. Fudan University’s campus is HUGE. I’ve only walked about 1/4 of the campus so far. I hope to spend a portion of the day exploring unearthed terrain… but that sounds like one of my list entries, so who knows what the day will bring.

The School of Journalism is located on the east side of campus, which is about a 20-30 minute walk from the Foreign Students’ Dormitory located on the northwest side of campus. I now realize how fortunate I was to complete the university registration and enrollment process via the Internet during my many years as a college student in the United States. Fudan is still on the “paper system” and when you’re dealing with a university the size of this one, at the end of the day your feet feel as though you’ve spent a day at Disneyland.

Before I left Los Angeles, I had this idea that I was going to be one of a select group of students representing the U.S. Not only am I far from the only person representing the U.S., there is a massive group of students from Southern California’s UC (University of California) system. Yesterday I had a conversation with a guy from UC Santa Cruz about his job at the Macaroni Grill in Valencia, CA (45 min. north of L.A.). Weird.

Aside from the Americans, each time I meet someone new, they’re from a different country. So far I’ve banked a person from Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Zimbabwe, Israel, England, Iceland, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Austria, and France.

The semester officially started on Monday, September 1, however, we get two full weeks to test classes before we officially register. I learned the hard way that all of the courses within the School of Journalism are indeed… taught in Chinese. Sitting in a class for an hour and a half trying put a few words together every now and then was rather discouraging. There are a few English taught courses within the School of Journalism, but they were created for students in English taught programs. Since I am not taking courses for credit, I hope the J-School’s advisor will allow me to continue in these English taught classes. Another obstacle, taking a Chinese language class taught in English. Since the J-School only offers an advanced Chinese language course, I must take a beginner language course within another school at the university. Those class times will be posted on Sunday and I hope to get into one of those and start A.S.A.P.

After jumping over hurdles for the first few days, all-in-all, the food has been awesome and the people great. I couldn’t ask for a better social situation.

Tomorrow… I’ll tell you all about purchasing a bike from a street vendor, a typical breakfast in Shanghai, and easy access contraceptives. I now leave you with pictures from my first trip to the Super Wal-mart… yes, I said Super Wal-mart… down the 路 (lu) or road.

To Wally-World

To Wally-World With A Swede and a German

Mattias W/Fat Kid Cleaner

Mattias W/Fat Kid Cleaner

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  1. Yay! Glad you made it there safe and sound. I feel for ya babe…that’s sounds like a lot of walking so I hope you brought some comfy running shoes. The best part of the blog: FAT KID CLEANER! I love it! I’ll be checking back often for updates.

    good luck!


  2. my dearest…i need some of that fat kid cleaner!
    soo glad to hear youre enjoying it. it sounds a little overwhelming. but no body is better than you for it!

    make sure to say hi to the Mexicans fo me!

  3. WOW. so excited for you. I would also like to put an order in for some fat kid cleaner. Please please get a bell for your bike…. i can see you now. continue to be amazing and tell us all about it. cyber hugs… c

  4. Hey Dara – very interesting stuff!!!!! I hope you got a good deal on a bike, sounds like you’ll need it for sure! I hope you’re enjoying yourself! Keep in touch! XOXOXOXOX

  5. Dara D,
    I loves it! Glad to see you up and running.
    Reading this gave me a nice chuckle.
    Looking forward to more Cha Cha Adventures.

  6. YAY!!!! I’m so excited for you!

  7. love ya Dara – I hope you have a great experience in China – i love the food too!! who knows – maybe we will cross paths there! :o)

  8. Dara! Michael send me the link to your adventure blog. I hope you have an amazing time and I will be following the blog.

    Good luck with the Chinese taught classes – that sounds like a huge challenge.


  9. Ambassador,
    I just love this stuff.

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