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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Heilongjiang, China

Jul 16, 2011 - Bird watching, interview

Tuesday night, I tried going to bed at 8:00, so that I would get about 6 1/2 hours of sleep. However, my body just would not let me. After reading for about an hour, I laid in bed until after 10 before finally falling asleep. At 2:30 my alarm went off. I got out of bed at 2:45 – well before the time that I had gone to bed on Saturday night -- put on my long-sleeve shirt and pants, ate some yogurt and hit the road. After one taxi refused to take me across the bridge (work is on the other side of the Songhua River), I found a pimped-out cab...

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Jul 8, 2011 - Pre-Beijing Catch-Up (Spoiler: NEW HOST FAM!)

Sorry that I haven’t caught up in a while. Here’s a quick low-down on my past couple weeks: Monday the 27th, I got to class and just decided I was fed up with the Russians who didn’t care. The class was too slow, my fellow students not very good, and it occurred to me that I could tell others’ tones and pronunciation were awful but the teacher wasn’t saying anything. I had chosen a group class because someone had convinced me that it would save money, but honestly the one-on-one classes aren’t that expensive and this class was frankly just...

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Jun 26, 2011 - First Weekend

Friday morning I went to class nice and early as per usual. I then took the bus to work and did some research on dams. I left work early to get ready for the night in time to meet Josh for dinner. I took one of my little sponge baths that I’ve gotten so good at, got dressed and hit the bus back to the bus stop that I get off at to go to school. The school I go to is only a block or two from HIT (Harbin Institute of Technology or 工大) where the CET kids go to school. I met up with Josh, who sheepishly let me know that he’d already eaten...

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Jun 23, 2011 - Getting Settled: Classes, Registering, etc.

Tuesday morning, Yadong had to go downtown early so Lang Dezhong came over to bring me to work (I didn’t yet know the way). We went to a breakfast hole-in-the-wall on the way. We had baozi (stuffed buns) and doujiang (soy milk, but unlike anything you’ve ever tasted if you haven’t had it in China mmm). We then took the bus to work, where we hung out for a bit (well, I hung out, Lang Dezhong worked… I was told that today I would be “introduced” to the organization and their many projects). After a couple hours, Lang Dezhong and I biked back...

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Jun 20, 2011 - Day 1

Monday, the first day of work. Yadong and I wake up early and head to the China Mobile store near his house to buy a SIM card, which I later realized won’t work with my American phone. He then brings me to a little store, where I buy a little packaged cake for breakfast. We walk for a few minutes, get on the bus for two stops, go through a gate that you need an electronic key for. There’s construction going on next door and this looks like an apartment complex. We go into a building (again, electronic key) and head upstairs to the office,...

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Jun 19, 2011 - Arriving in Harbin

I arrive in Harbin at around 6:30 PM. I was one of maybe four or five foreigners on the flight from Beijing to Harbin and was trying to look as confident as possible as I retrieved my bag from the belt and went to find the bus that Yadong (the director of Green Longjiang, the NGO that I’m working for) told me to take. I walk through the crowds outside the baggage claim trying to look like I know what I’m doing. I look over the signs – Taxis, Police, First Aid, Rest Rooms – and see none pointing to an airport bus. A man approaches me with a...

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Jan 29, 2009 - Off to Harbin.

We did not have to leave Zhaoqing, until 2.30, so did not have to get up early. The alarm rang at 10 am, and I got up, had coffee, checked emails, etc., then I got my packing finished. Eventually got showered and dressed, transferred photos from the camera to the computer. We were ready to leave, but it was still only midday, so we sat down and watched a short DVD that Brenda sent me for Christmas. It is a Readers Digest one, called Nature Symphony, with lots of footage of various animals and insects, with beautiful classical music behind...

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Jun 3, 2006 - Harbin - China

24/5/06 We got off the train early the next morning and put our luggage into Left Luggage, as we hoped to get another train that night. We tried to buy a ticket all the way to Vladivostok, from the train station, but they could only sell us one to the border. So we waited until a travel agent across the road was open and bought Russian train tickets from them. While we were waiting we bought breakfast from stalls on the side of the road, which were pancakes and fried things different from what we had gotten from China before, so we wondered...

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Jul 2, 2005 - I made it to Vladivostok!

Hello All!! First I wanted to say how wonderful it has been to get all of your messages. I haven't been able to email all of you back yet, but I definately will!!! So, right after I emailed you all from Seoul, we had huge thunder and lightning storms. So I waited a little, then finally borrowed an umbrella from the woman who ran the guest house, went out and bought my own umbrella, and it cleared up. :) So, overall Seoul was nice, hot and incredibly sticky, but nice. I wonder what the locals must have thought when they saw Beeb and I...

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Jun 27, 2005 - Harbin

Beatrix and Michael Mathew wrote to LP after their 2004 Trans-Sib trip singing the praises of the Z15/ 16 overnight express train between Beijing and Harbin. "Probably the best second-class sleeper train in the world" they said, which is pretty much on the money. Each of the bunks in the four person cabins comes with a wall panel LCD TV screening 7 channels of Asian movies (if you're lucky there might be one with English subtitles) and one with information on the train. You listen through a headset that's plugged into the controls by the...

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Jan 26, 2005 - Harbin, the Ice City

First trip during spring break was to Harbin, which is located in the upper North East corner of China just under the Russian Border (I have plotted on the Map for you). I made the trip with Steph and Jane (two Drake Alumns) and with Steph's mom and aunt. We got a train to Beijing then a sleeper to Harbin.. In total we spent 19 hours on trains Wed arriving into Harbin on Thursday mid-morning. While not quite as comfortable as the train from Madrid to Paris, it was very nice and the train staff was great. It was also a wonderful to see the...

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Nov 10, 2004 - Harbin

po 14 godz. jazdy na twardo-siedzaco jestem w harbin. w sumie myslalem, ze bedzie gorzej. zastanawialem sie tez czy nie zafundowac sobie biletu lezacego do pekinu zwlaszcza, ze trasa harbin-pekin wyglada na dluzsza. okazuje sie jednak ze podroz do stolicy bedzie trwac tylko 11 godz. phi. to kompromitujace stac z rozmowkami przy kasie po to by na koncu sprowadzic kunsztownie skonstruowana wypowiedz do rodzaju klasy i celu podrozy. i jeszce ci 'koledzy' kasjerki, podpowiadajacy i komentujacy rozmowe ('tomorrow', 'very good', 'six'), nie...

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