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Day 2

So after an amazingly long 12 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling pretty good.  I was a little rushed to get ready to head to work, thinking I would be walking the 20-ish minutes to get there.  However, I talked to the front desk people and they were like “no no, take taxi” so I did.  Once again, the guy didn’t really know where I wanted to go, but at least this time I had the address in actual Chinese characters, so he was able to figure it out.  After I got there, I was in this area that looked like a residential neighborhood and I got super nervous that I was lost. I finally asked some guy sitting outside, who ended up being a photographer or something that was doing a project with Greenpeace, and he pointed me to the right building and I figured out where I was. I made it up to the office, and got to meet Caidan, the lady I’ll be working with, and got a quick tour of the office.  She had to leave not long after that for a meeting, but she gave me my first assignment and some reading to do about various Greenpeace projects.  The reading looked fine, but her assignment brought back bad memories… two words that will make everyone (ok, maybe not everyone, but certainly me) break out into a cold sweat: International Shoe. I had immediate and terrifying flashbacks to CivPro, and begin to wonder what I was really doing here and if I hadn’t made some kind of huge mistake.

The assignment ended up being pretty easy, I just had to write a memo about a fictional (I think) situation.  One of the questions I had to answer was whether a US court would or could have jurisdiction over a case between the two parties, neither of which were from the US, but were arguing over a piece of property in the US. I was able to finish that with little problems (other than the CivPro flashbacks) and got started in on my reading.  Caidan was supposed to be back from her meeting at 12:30, but she ended up getting stuck there. Her coworker, who’s name I forgot to ask,  offered to show me where to get lunch near the office.  We walked outside and she was like there are lots of places all along there… but oh wait, you probably don’t speak chinese, and they definitely don’t speak english. So she took me to the 7-11 in the next building over.  When she said we were going there, I thought great, my first real meal in China is going to be a Slushie and a big giant hotdog.  Thankfully, i was so wrong.  They had all these awesome dishes, and I ended up getting a big bowl with rice, steamed veggies, and a very traditional (so i was told) Chinese dish made with tomatoes and egg. It all ended up being delicious, and I had such a huge portion that I couldn’t finish it.  That plus a bottle of water  (which, based on the yellow label and lemon-looking art, I assumed was lemon flavored, but was actually mango), for only 16 yuan, or $2.60.

I spent the rest of the afternoon fixing up my memo and reading about all the horribly depressing studies Greenpeace has done that show how rampant illegal logging is, how bad climate change will effect China, and how toxic chemicals from clothing manufacturing are being dumped right into rivers, streams, and the oceans.  At about 6:30, Caidan came over and was like, uhh, you know you only have to be here until 6, so you can go now.  So i packed up and with a little help from her, I started to walk back to the hotel. My Google directions seemed very difficult, but in the end it was literally just a short walk on a couple of streets and I ended up right in front of my hotel without even realizing I was already there.   Much to my surprise ( and now delight), I noticed another 7-11 next to my hotel.  I stopped in and grabbed some dinner (some kind of cold noodle dish with peas, some sort of mystery meat, and soy sauce).  I have to say, I may lose a lot of weight over here, simply because of how terrible I am with chopsticks.  Part of the reason I didn’t eat all my lunch was because of the size of the meal, but also because of how long it took to eat what I did and how frustrating it is to try to pick up food with these things.  I know I would look like the typical American, but I wish had brought a fork to carry around with me, it would definitely make eating dinner a lot easier!


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