China Research

The Quest from the West

After a long week of travel, our group has finally made it to Xiamen. It is nice to be settled in and ready to start work, though the culture here is different, we are fitting in as much as we can. Beijing, as I noticed was the China that everyone knows, the Great Wall, tombs, ancient structures and statues. Hong Kong was as western as you can get while in Asia. Almost everyone knew English, there was either a McDonald’s, KFC or Papa Johns at every corner, not to mention the two Starbucks on every corner. It was easy to feel at home in Hong Kong, but I personally wanted to struggle to fit in. We are coming to China to be exposed to a culture nothing like the one we are used to. I found that so far, Xiamen is the China I was looking for. I am forced to learn the Chinese culture as well as the language, the weather is humid and hot, and we are in a mix of the rich and the desperately poor. In my lab I feel alone, as everyone around me speaks mandarin, and I can’t follow a word. I have found, what I came for, China in every sense, and I won’t be able to leave for 2 months, what an adventure I have begun…Zai jian!