I, and surely some readers as well, suppose the “real life” has to start at some point. This doesn’t mean giving up the un-“real life”, however. My schedule is very interesting. I have courses only on weekends, and they are mostly about business. They were decided for me and not at all related to education, neuroscience or computer science for that matter. (I wonder on what terms these courses were chosen. I don’t complain, since I value the lessons and things taught by the overall experience higher than getting good grades.) My skill base is certainly going to be very multifaceted when I graduate. I’m going to go sneak peeking on other lectures too, particularly ones in Chinese language and culture. Chinese pedagogy is a fascinating subject too.

Wen (Wendy) sent me a message on Monday asking me if I wanted to come with her to the Hubei Provincial Museum the next day. I said yes, and on Tuesday we spent four and a half hours exploring the museum, covering several floors. There were permanent exhibitions about the evolution of man (there are remarkable archaeological findings specifically in Hubei province), cultural exchanges between the Chinese and people from the Mediterranean countries. The Roman empire had strong connections with China, so strong that the Chinese were able to shape a big part of how the Roman and Mediterranean societies in general came to function for several dynasties. This isn’t really highlighted in our history books. There was lots of trade and other business going on between these two people. I need to return to see the other exhibitions, since we didn’t have the time to look through the non-permanent ones.

Today I went biking along the East Lake route with my next-door friend from Zambia. He belongs to the Lozi tribe, and we talked for hours about our cultures and compared our experiences of Africa and Europe. Zambia is never mentioned in the news, so I figured it’s a relatively safe country to visit, since the media only pays attention to countries with social disorder (because that’s good for business), at times making it look like Africa is an unsafe continent as a whole. The political situation in Zambia is stable, even though the economy isn’t good, and the tribes are living peacefully alongside each other. Another friend of mine from Nepal who’s studying medicine (he isn’t living in this dorm, but in a different part of the campus) had recommended taking the Green Way around the small mountain situated along the East Lake. The scenery is very beautiful, and we biked for several hours.

Wen added me to her student group on WeChat, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Hanjie (Han Street) is on the to-do list. My compulsory courses begin at the end of next week, so I’d have some time to bike around the ancient city wall of Xi’an, which I was thinking of paying a visit to. It’s also possible that I’ll be going back to Shenzhen to see my friends this month. One of my Finnish friends is planning to come here in April, another two in May, and one in June, so we’ll have to plan how to spend our time here. The courses consist mostly of independent work, so I can decide when and where to study, which I appreciate a lot. I think I’ll do a campus/study post next time!

Mili

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