I biked to Beijing University today to have lunch with a Stanford student an an alumni. We’re connected through the DARE (Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence) fellowship program. The guy was member of the 2nd cohort and has been a postdoc here for almost four years! The girl is in the 8th cohort with me and is here in Beijing for a conference. We had a nice lunch, sharing China experiences and talking a bit about DARE.
It was a long, hot bike ride over there and back. We met at the southwest gate, which, as I work on the northeast side of Tsinghua, is all the way across both campuses, over 5k.
In the evening, though, it was really comfortable. Biking to dinner was really enjoyable! As I worked after dinner, I saw the sun setting through the window. This is NOT a usual occurence here in Beijing. Here the sky is usually one shade of gray during the day, and the entire sky gradually dims to a darker shade of gray in the evening. It was strange to see pinks and oranges in the sky, and shadows on the ground.
I couldn’t keep working. For over a week, I’d been thinking that I wasn’t going to see blue sky in Beijing anymore, and I just couldn’t miss this. I left work really early (7pm!!) and biked home, listening to Sarah Bareilles’ “Many the Miles”, my sunset anthem. A far cry from the evenings I used to watch the sun set on the beautiful beaches of Xiamen, but I’ll take what I can get.
I also had to stop by the tailor to pick up my clothes. I had him fix up four articles of clothing – small things, like missing buttoms or torn seams. He was super friendly – no clothing problem is a problem, he said! – and he makes me want to go back there for more things. Maybe I will get another qipao?