Thursday, February 12, 2009



I’m here in the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. This is not what I expected, at all. The campus is old and run down. The area around it is really dirty and crowded. I guess I expected more from the pictures I saw. Hopefully, the other students here will be cool at least. From the moment I stepped onto campus, I realized how different China is from America. The moment I stepped onto campus, I got yelled at in Chinese. I look Chinese, but I don’t speak the language. Well, I barely speak it. I ask the security guard for a cart to push all my luggage’s into my dorm room. I ask in English, I get yelled at in Chinese. I’m not sure if that’s just how they speak or if I’m getting yelled at. I have a piece of paper with Chinese writing that teaches me how to ask the security guard for a cart in Chinese. One problem, I can’t read Chinese! So I shove the paper in the guards face so he’ll stop yelling at me. He stares at it for a minute, and asks for my passport. I hand him my passport, he hands me a cart. I stick my hand out for my passport back, and he finally speaks English! He tells me “Bring cart back, you get passport back.” I’m definitely starting off on the wrong foot at this school.

After wandering around this small but spacious campus, I finally find Building #8. First thing I see are clothes hanging out on the balcony. Once again, I’m turned off by this school. I walk inside and meet the ‘ah-yi’, that’s what we call all the ladies that work in the dorm building. One of the ah-yi’s asks for my passport; I tell her I don’t have it because the guard in the front is holding it hostage until I return my cart. I explain everything calmly in English and she just stares back at me blankly. Finally two volunteers, who are students of SUFE come to help me out. They translate for me, so the ah-yi calls the security guard and explains to them that I’m part of the Alliance program and I need my passport back. Finally after about an hour of translating and confusion, I get to my room. Room 1208 is what I’ll call home for the next four months. The room is about the size of a Stetson East double except it includes a bathroom. Or what they consider a bathroom. It’s really just a showerhead, toilet and old fashioned sink. There is nothing to step into to get into the Shower, water just gets everywhere. I am really starting to regret my decision.

The two volunteers stayed around to help me get settled in. They’re actually really nice compared to all the other people I met on campus. If everyone else is this nice, I won’t hate this school as much.

This is the end of my bitter post, will update more as I become less bitter. Hopefully…

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