Exciting news, friends! I’m going on an adventure! Here are the details:
- I am going to China for two weeks this summer.
- I will be taking a class about communication in (guess where?) China.
- I will be studying and living at the Hopkins Nanjing Center.
- I will eat kung pao chicken for every meal (hopefully).
I finally purchased my plane ticket last night. That was probably the most expensive non-tuition purchase I’ve ever made, and it was terrifying.
This whole trip is probably about 20 percent terrifying, actually. While the remaining 80 percent is made up of mostly excitement and anticipation, I have no idea what to expect AT ALL. The class sounded like a cool opportunity and a good excuse to go to China, but I registered for it only about half-convinced it would get enough students to run. The grad program hasn’t been very helpful with the logistical arrangements so far, and I’m convinced I’m going to get lost or arrested or end up on a train to North Korea (not on purpose, obviously). Luckily, I’ve connected with a few other students who are going, and we’re stumbling through the travel-booking, visa-acquiring, etc. processes more or less together, so at least if I end up in North Korea, I won’t be alone and will have people to talk to.
Honestly, I hate sounding like the idiot American that I am, but what really scares me is not being able to understand anything. In other countries I’ve been to (really, just within Europe and Mexico/the Caribbean/Central America; I’m not as well-traveled as I wish I was), I’ve been able to get by, because thankfully most of the people I came in contact with were a lot smarter than me and spoke English, and the signs and menus and things were in recognizable letters. I am totally going to eat duck blood soup by accident. This is my greatest fear.