Tuesday, June 9, 2009

China.. more or less

Hey everyone -

Gettin at you from China, vis a vis the quarantine. For anyone who was wondering, be sure to use the "Comment" button if you're responding to another post instead of posting a whole new entry of your own. Even though this is an AIESEC travel blog, it's completely open to everyone's summer ventures. So don't be afraid to write & respond. I would be more often if Blogger wasn't blocked here in China.. agh. Another story.

Anyways, I got in a few days ago, flying from HK to Haikou, China (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainan). The flight was short and turbulent. Apparently it's monsoon season right now and I seem to understand (could be completely wrong...) each year they get at least one.. who would have thought? So we landed in China pretty much on time which was definitely unexpected. Little did we know what the government had ready for us.. a whole bunch of guys dressed in white with surgical masks and boots.

Anyways these guys barged on in the plane and took our temperatures for almost 2 hours while
we are still IN OUR SEATS (see picture). The guy filming the whole thing still cracks me up.

So luckily no one I was with had a fever. We get off the plane and go into this waiting room to clear customs. So the guys in white get the idea they should take all the foreigners' temperatures again and this time one of the guys I'm studying with was about 1 degree above normal. They threw him in a local hospital overnight.

Luckily everyone was still in pretty good spirits (minus the guy in the hospital) so it we didnt let it get to us too much. So those of us who they let leave eventually found our way onto a bus and to Hainan University where we'll be studying these next few months. We eventually found the leaders of the program but, cause it's an immersion program, they don't want to speak any English with us. It took a while, but after a few hours we realized that they wanted to quarantine all of us. Then a few hours later realized that the quarantine would last a week .. because that's how long it might take for the H1N1 Swine Flu to come up in any of us.

So. Good news - none of us have the flu yet. Bad News - I get my temperature taken twice a day (7 AM, 7 PM) and all i've seen of the real city is from out of the window. We have classes in people's rooms and eat meals in this slightly bigger room, but everything in the same building. My room's not bad at all (sink, WESTERN toilet) and we even have a fuwuyuan who cleans our rooms each day. This is my view out the window:

Notice the window is barred. Coincidence?

One funny thing about the "quarantine" is that we ARE allowed to go eat and drink at this bar connected to our building. We can buy juice/soda/beer/cigarettes and be in contact with people who aren't quarantined but they won't let us step foot outside. Hmmm. Shady operation.

Anyways overall things are well. Strict schedule (I only really have 2 or 3 hours a day free per day this first week) but I'm absolutely exhausted every night by 10 or 11 so waking up at 7 isn't a huge problem. Never thought I'd say that. The first few days of class we all showed up without doing the homework cause no one had any idea that it was assigned. Haha. I have Kung Fu classes 5 times a week though which is pretty ballin and Tai Chi every now and then. Today we started using swords (they let us buy them for like $4). We move into the real
dorm in a few days; I can't wait to explore the city.

Mary & Patrick - Morocco sounds incredible. I'd love to see what you guys are seeing..
post some pictures in your entries if you have time and it lets you.

Until soon,


1 comment:

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