Ritvik – In Beijing

Friday, March 23rd

I am extremely excited to take off on yet another international journey this year. Just last month, I visited Morocco to learn more about its culture and architecture, and now I’ll be going to China to represent the USA at a Research Symposium!

I am really tired, having not slept all night in an effort to tune myself to the Chinese time difference. I hope it works and I don’t get jet lag! I am also a bit worried—I am a vegetarian and I have heard stories from almost all my friends of Chinese descent that finding food with no meat is a rare occurrence. Hopefully, I’ll be able to eat some new, but still vegetarian foods that I will come to cherish.

As I type this in the Detroit Airport, I am trying to imagine what China will be like. Most of my impressions are from the pictures my roommate took in 5th grade. How is that China different from the one I will see tomorrow?

Saturday, March 24th

Saturday was an interesting day, mainly because I lost 12 hours of it in a time zone change. Nevertheless, when I set foot outside the Beijing airport, one thought came to all of our minds—this looks like New York City! We piled into the van and started driving, and of course, as tired as I was, I slept the entire way to the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. As I woke up, I saw a brilliant view of the hills that surrounded the Great Wall of China.

Today, we also met our volunteers who are in charge of the US Delegation–David, Serena, and Tracy. They seem like very kind and motivated college students, very much like the people I would want to be. I got some cool goodies from them like a backpack and a notebook which will help me remember this trip for years to come, and at dinner, I found plenty of vegetarian options! I ate tasty fried noodles with rice and tofu. It seems like food will not be too much of a problem on this trip, so, with all my anxieties gone, I am even more excited about the presentations tomorrow! And now, after a very long journey, goodnight from me and my new roommate, Kevin Jin!

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