living arrangements

Life here at the Naiman Desertification Research Station is pretty slow. I'm not really complaining-- after 6 months of total insanity, an enforced slower pace is probably good for me. However, sometimes I need a little more stimulation than hanging out with myself and my laptop in my little room every night.

Since I am a 'foreign guest', I am housed in the newest building (see dormitory). It has rooms for senior staff and professors on the first floor, rooms for Chinese guests on the third floor, and rooms for foreign guests on the second floor. I assume these divisions are mostly due to the style of toilet, but I haven't seen inside any other rooms to check out any other differences. I happen to be the only guest at the moment, so I have this floor all to myself. I am also the only woman in the building, as the staff, professors and researchers (kind of like post-docs) are all men.

The Chinese graduate students (male and female) are housed in a building across the courtyard.
For the most part this is fine with me. I mean, I 'm not going to complain that I have my own bathroom and I don't have to hike out to the outhouse building all night. And it is not as if all the other grad students are over there having a party every night. Most of them spend their evenings in their rooms on their laptops too. But they have their doors open, and people are coming and going and chatting and whatever... there is camaraderie.

It is not so much that I am lonely, it's that I am bored with myself and my simple little evening routine of blog posting and yoga podcasting and chinese lesson listening....

I leave for a conference in Beijing in 2 days and I am so ready for a break. I booked my train ticket a day early so I can have a day in the city (still by myself, but at least there will be things to do!). Then in the eve I'll meet up with some other American grad students for some good old-fashioned happy hour. Hallelujiah.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Have a great time in Beijing!