Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My daily/weekly life here in Dalian

On a typical weekday here in Dalian, we get up at about 8-8:30. On the way to work, I usually stop at a little market and pick up a bottle of juice and some sort of pastry thing. My favorite thing to get is little rolls with red bean paste. They look like mini cinnamon buns but have sweet red bean paste instead of brown sugar and cinnamon. When I get to work, I set up my computer in my little cubicle, and then get started on whatever it is I have to do that day. Typically I mix in Facebook and reading the news in with the work I am to do. Currently I have also been working in the office next to mine because the computers there have the ANSYS program loaded on them. Around 11:30-12:00 all us REU students go to lunch. If we got to the school cafeteria then we take lunch at 11:30 since most students eat then and if you go later, the food is sparse and cold. If we go to one of the many restaurants around campus, we leave around noon. There is absolutely no rush to finish lunch and get back to work. We usually roll back into the office at around 1:00 or so. Work then continues until 5:00 when we all leave. After work, we typically either go to the gym to lift, or head over to the soccer fields. On some days, I will go for a run after lifting or playing soccer. On those days I get a shower and then eat dinner alone at one of the cafeterias. On days that I don’t run, we all get showers then eat dinner. There are many good restaurants near campus and a few more just a short bus ride from campus. After dinner we head back to our apartments where we spend the rest of the evening. Not much happens around campus at night, so our evenings are mostly filled with skype, cruising the internet, listening to music, and reading. I usually go to sleep around midnight.

On Fridays we usually do something with the grad students we work with. We have had them over for beer pong and sang karaoke among other things. After hanging out with them until around 10 (their dorms close at 10:30 so they have to be back before then), we like to head downtown and visit one of the bars. Saturdays are spent sleeping in and then going downtown to explore the city and often end up at bars again. Sundays are typically more lazy days but on most Sunday nights we catch the 23 bus to the Trust-Mart. There are a few good, cheap restaurants nearby, and Trust-Mart (Wal-Mart owned) has all the random stuff we need to purchase for the upcoming week.

There is almost no sense of urgency to do anything around here. Everybody is extremely laid back. It we take a 2 hour lunch break, it’s perfectly ok. Even our presentations are very relaxed and there is little pressure put on us.

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