China has been quite an experience so far. The mix of an ancient culture and 21st century technology has resulted in an interesting blend. For example, the college students here dress very much like college students in the U.S. Some even wear T-shirts with English phrases and logos. But the students must rely on the university boiling their drinking water for them. They do this by dropping off large thermos-type containers at certain places throughout the campus, and then they pick up their water later. The tap water isn’t potable, and the students are not allowed to boil water in their dorm rooms, so the university provides the boiling service for them. Also, some university facilities workers on campus use modern equipment, such as jackhammers, while others move supplies about on old, three-wheeled pedal vehicles.
There is one English-speaking channel on the TV in the hotel, a CCTV news channel. CCTV stands for China Central Television, and it’s a government-controlled outlet. The big news today on the channel has been the phone-hacking scandal in Britain and the debt-reduction fight in the United States. When the station isn’t broadcasting news programs, it has documentaries. For example, earlier tonight I watched a program on the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet.
I will have too many high-res photos to post all here, so I will put many on my Flickr account, Neil Ralston2008.