On Monday, we met up with a Holy Cross student – Zhenxi! Zhenxi lives in Beijing, and she’s a Sophomore currently studying at Holy Cross. Since Holy Cross students are on break right now, she was in China for a few days. She took all of us out to eat at Hai Di Lai hotpot… the most delicious hotpot ever. For those of you who don’t know, hotpot is where there’s a huge boiling pot of water and a bunch of raw food that you can order. You place the food into the pot yourself, and watch it cook. It’s a really good group food activity and perfect for the wintertime. At this particular restaurant, they had an amazing sauce station where you can mix yourself a tasty concoction to dip your food into. The waiters and waitresses at this restaurant provided the best service i’ve ever seen at a restaurant. If you were walking to the bathroom, any waiter you passed would greet you. My glass was never empty, it was constantly being refilled! They even gave us complimentary headbands for the girls, and if you wore glasses, they gave you an eyeglass cloth to wipe the fog off your glasses. They also provided little ziploc bags to put our phones into, so that it wouldn’t get dirty from the food, and they placed a seat cover onto our jackets after we hung them on the backs of our chairs. Apparently there’s also a Hai Di Lao in NYC, but it’s supposed to be a lot more expensive in NY.
Holy Cross at HaiDiLao Hotpot! So yummy.
After dinner, Zhenxi took us to one of the many malls in the Xidan district. There were a few blocks of very big malls in this area. This particular mall we went to was very Americanized, and it looked even nicer than most of the malls that i’ve ever been to.
Friday after class, a few classmates and I decided to take a visit to the Beijing Zoo. The Zoo is located conveniently just a 5-to-10-minute walk away from our campus. They had a section of 5-8 exhibits of just pandas! Unfortunately, most of the pandas were sleeping when we visited. There was one panda that was up and about – he kept wobbling around his exhibit. They also had a few red pandas, but because it was so cold out, most of them were hiding. We walked around and found a lot of animals in the park. The zoo was so big, we didn’t even get to all the exhibits. I plan on going back during the Springtime though, when it’ll be a lot warmer out.
Life is so busy studying abroad. When i’m not in class or studying for my daily listening exams, i’m out exploring the city. I’ve picked up a great habit from one of my friends here in the program though. My friend Alyssa has recently gotten me into the habit of finishing up my homework as early as possible, so we can make time to go out and explore Beijing! Let’s hope this habit continues even when I return to Holy Cross in the Fall.
This weekend, we took a trip to the Great Wall of China… so look out for a post for that coming very soon!
金羽庭 (Jin YuTing)