Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Little Change of Plans

Today I received an email from Ning telling me that her sister is going to be out of Beijing from August 25-28. As a result, there has been a change of plans. Her brother is going to pick me up at the airport, then take me to the New Century Hotel (the place where her sister works), where the concierges will apparently know my Chinese name, give me key for a room, and not charge me anything. Then, the next morning at 8am, a driver named Zheng Zhang will be arriving, giving me a wake-up call, and then driving me to BLCU, also free of charge.

This is extremely nice of Ning's family. I am very grateful. I hope everything works out okay. I felt like my head was going to explode with stress when I read the subject line of her email today, but now I feel better. Her brother will have a sign with both my English and Chinese names on them when he waits for me at the airport. I know the airport pretty well since I've already made the flight, so I can picture where he should be when I come out.

I'll be honest with all of you - I'm getting nervous. Packing has been kind of overwhelming, and I'm nervous about my first few days in Beijing. I know I'm being taken care of, but things like registration at BLCU still make me a little nervous. There is such a lack of detail in all of the things I have to do at that school (e.g., what time registration starts, what I need to do about getting a dorm room) that I never experienced in the U.S. I get the feeling that this is just something I'm going to have to get acclimated to. That's fine. That's part of what this trip is about for me. I don't think I realized how terrifying it can be to do it on my own, but that will be part of the excitement, too.


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