Jakim Johnson is ready for China!


Nǐ hǎo! Hello!

Today is my first day in China! I will be here for the next 8 weeks taking an electrical engineering course, as well as a Chinese language and Chinese history course. I’m really excited to get started with classes as well as get out and explore some of what China has to offer. Below is my intro video blog, which I hope teaches you a little bit about me.

It has already been an experience, y’all. I knew once I got off the flight yesterday at Beijing International Airport that I would have a difficult time finding my way around. I was able to find a taxi to take me to Peking University where I will be studying, but without a note for the taxi driver written for me by the program providers I don’t know how I would have told him that. The traffic here was crazy scary! There were cars weaving in and out of lanes, people driving off the roads and at times three cars were squeezing into two lanes at once! I felt like I was on a roller coaster almost! Don’t worry, we made it to the University in one piece.

I was dropped off at the West gate, and only had a map with a star on it telling me where to go. I swear I showed that map to a dozen people, including the taxi driver note, trying to get directions to my dorm. I probably looked stupid (and definitely felt so) gawking at every turn trying to find landmarks that matched my map. When I finally made it to the dorm I had to struggle with the front desk to get my room key (my first room ended up being occupied – which was super awkward – so we had to struggle through it twice).

Once I was settled in I went out looking for some dinner. Omg, I felt really stupid at the restaurant I went to. I thought it was a buffet, so I kept asking how much it cost to eat. Turns out it wasn’t a buffet and it literally took us 10 minutes to realize that I needed a menu to order from. I was so relieved when I finally got my food because the meal was delicious and it had been a long day up to that point (almost a full 24 hours since I had flown out of San Diego). After dinner I crawled back to my dorm room and went to bed.

My experience from yesterday was an amazing first encounter with China – though somewhat stressful. I’m looking forward to starting classes on Monday, learning the language to hopefully decrease some of that stress, and explore the city around me. Many of my classmates arrive today and I’m excited to see them as well. Overall I have a really good feeling about this trip and I can’t wait to jump right in!

– Jakim