I forgot to mention to you some rather intriguing events from the last few weeks. In the past month or so, yours truly has somehow found herself:
- ….in one of the Beijing 2008 Olympic venues.
The Peking University Opening Ceremony apparently takes place in a huge stadium, with enough room to fit the new year’s students to PKU (but not too many more). The only part of the ceremony I understood was to cheer loudly when we a) saw ourselves on the big-screens (Australian Open style), b) saw pictures of our faculty’s dean on the big-screens, or C) saw the distant tiny figure of our dean waving at us from the other end of the stadium. Apparently the part of the show when everyone was invited to put on their PKU badges officially made us students of the university, and obliges us to refer to ourselves as 北大学生 (students of PKU).
- …listening to one of the world’s most influential business people.
Ronny Chan, the source of much of my faculty’s funding, spoke to our cohort during our own opening ceremony. In his speech he described eight ways in which the world as we know it is likely to end and that he was sorry that we were the generation that would take the brunt of them. This was followed by the faculty staff singing ‘We’re All in This Together’ from High School Musical.
When one is speechless, sometimes it is best to laugh uproariously.
- …getting very close to the current US ambassador to China.
Members of our faculty were invited to attend a speech by this high(est)-flying diplomat in which he very fondly spoke of his love of Iowa, his friendship with Xi Jinping, and plant based ethanol. He also said ‘make America great again’ three times. That is all. We also got a talk later in the week from Radek Pyffel, a Polish banker heavily invested in the Belt and Road Initiative. This was a more involved session for the students chosen to ask questions.
- …and eating barbecued mushrooms at the Irish Embassy.
A new Irish-national friend of mine this week invited me to a families’ day barbecue at the Irish Embassy. The speeches were short and excellent, the food was odd (barbecued white bread, on skewers, I was confused) and the company utterly delightful. As was the gin. And the celtic-warrior photo opportunity you see above.
Other than that, I have this week learned more about economics than I ever wanted to. My brain, dear readers, does not find economics (micro, macro, or otherwise) intriguing in the least. Thank goodness someone made me learn a musical instrument (thank you, Mumma).
Have a great week xx
*I’m a PKU student now.