Life in China (Heather on AsianLan 203 in Nanjing)

I Lived just off of Shanghai road, a busy street that was a bit of the main drag with 5 lanes across, and that brings me to the traffic in Nanjing. The amount of cars everywhere was amazing. I have never seen so many people get cut off and not honk. Over all the drivers were kinda scarry. About 90% of the cars on the road are stick shift cars. I saw several times, while in the car, a two lane road become a three lane road. I must commend the chinese people as a whole though, their parking spots are so tiny and yet they manage to get the car into it every time. I think the worst drivers are the taxi cab drivers, they were notorious for honking as soon as the light turned green which was slightly annoying by week 4.

Beyond the traffic there was always constrution. Didn’t really matter where, middle of the road, middle of the sidewalk, busy intersection. The traffic, amazingly enough, flowed easily around the construction, it’s not like they followed many of the traffic laws anyways. My house mom owned a car, stick shift of course, apparently just now China is beginning to enforce seatbelt laws. Neither my house mom or sister were used to wearing a seatbelt.

My house sister was a 17 year old. She is currently in her first year of college in america. The week I arrived there was her last week of highschool. She was quite an outgoing girl and her english was quite good, I was lucky to have her. My house mom worked for the Government. I’m not quite sure what exactly she did.

I should probably mention about the pollution in China. It came and went most of the time. You really couldn’t tell that the air was smoggy until you got up passed the 5th floor and looked out over some of the buildings. Distances blued out way faster there. I bought a phone while I was there and it came with a air quality meter already installed because they actually need that. The air quality stayed in the yellow mostly. There were some days in the green and some in the red. All of us students that went felt quite dirty for the first weeks while our skin became used to its harsh new environment. A lot of people smoke too which doesn’t help the air quality at all.

To find out more about our AsianLan 203 in Nanjing program go to http://mcompass.umich.edu

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