My Room- Shaoyuan 406


My side of the Room
My Side of the Room

This is my room; as you enter there is a bathroom immediately on your left which thankfully contains a western-style toilet, and a shower. (A Chinese-style toilet basically consists of a glorified hole in the floor made out of porcelain, and often not so glorified). Straight ahead is a single, Jacob’s room, and to the right is the room Pete and I live in.  You cannot drink the water, but can bathe in it.  The hot water is also shut off at 11:00 p.m. each night until the morning.  The conditions have been pretty good although one morning, as you can see here, mud came out of the shower and sink instead of water.


One of the first things I noticed upon entering the room was how dirty the walls seem to be.  Like most anywhere in China, you can smoke in doors—including the dorm hallways and in the bedrooms.  In my office building in which I work and some malls, smoking is usually confined to the bathrooms and fire escapes… but as a general rule of thumb there is no such thing as an environment in which smoking is not allowed.  We luckily have air conditioning as well as a refrigerator.  Our dorms are hotel-style, and we are spoiled with a maid coming in every morning replacing toilet paper, cleaning the bathroom, and sometimes even making our beds.  I soon found out that we, as international students, are extremely privileged when compared to the actual students here at Beida.  Most of the students don’t have a shower, refrigerator, or air conditioning and share a common bathroom between floors.  They therefore have to walk to designated showers on campus which could be at least 10 minutes away, so you can often see people in Pajamas carrying a shower bag walking through the streets of Beida.  Zoe, like most students, is one of four in her room, which only has enough space for two bunk beds, some clothes lines, and no desks.  Therefore their rooms serve as solely a place to sleep.  Living here in China may be a drastically different experience, but even at Beida, we are undoubtedly privileged.

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