And You Thought American Elections Were Bad…

11/4

So, you all thought the elections in America are bad? Think again. This just in, this year is election year for China as well. Unfortunately for me, the Chinese do not just sling mud as we do back in America. Oh no, they take their elections much more seriously. In fact, they take it so seriously that the current party in power as taken it upon themselves to cut off all access to American search engines and news sites. This means Google barely works, I cannot even get to The New York Times and only if I am very lucky, can I get to local Gig Harbor news. If that isn’t bad enough, sometimes, they decide to just shut down the internet connection all together, which would be just fine if I did not have research papers to write. Finally, to show how serious they are about winning the election, they will randomly shut off power to different sections of the city. In the past week, I think we have lost power four times.  Now, the only reason I know that all of this is happening due to the elections and not just because of an unfortunate series of events is that our program director emailed us, warning us that these events may occur and that it was nothing to worry about, just the elections. Sure enough, she was right. So, in four years from now, when everyone is groaning about all of the election ads on television, I will be able to look back on this and remember that at least I have electricity and internet. If I can have electricity and internet, I will be glad to suffer through a few political ads.

In other more exciting news, it’s snowing! Although it is suppose to all melt off over the next two days, it is still thrilling to have snow this early in the winter. In hindsight, I may not have brought the appropriate clothes for a ton of snow but coming from Gig Harbor where we are lucky to get traces of snow during the winter, I cannot help but be a little giddy.  In the words of college students everywhere, I hope it snows enough that they will cancel classes and I can spend the day playing in the snow and drinking hot cocoa. It sounds like a dream come true to me. When else in my life will I have a chance to have a snowball fight in China? It will definitely be worth the frozen fingers.

In more exciting news, the government finally said let them have heat and heat we have! Beida is officially a heated campus and I could not be happier. I cannot imagine being without heat right now. I feel terrible for the people who won’t get their heat turned on until November 15th. With snow already hitting Beijing, it is said that this winter will be a cold one. Hopefully they will get heat soon.

Finally, going back to the topic of elections, there is a little café in WuDaoKou that is hosting an American election day. They are serving half price apple pie and playing the elections live. Thus, that is where I will be most of Wednesday. Should be exciting!

Finally, to everyone back in America, hope you enjoyed your extra hour of sleep this weekend!

Until next time,

Ashley

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