Beijing is actually a MUD (online text adventure game)! Almost all the streets run in east-west or south-north direction and the signs in the intersections are marked with east/south/west/north. The city planners obviously thought in terms of a MUD, thousands of years before those silly computer science students. My route to school is south, east, south, east, south, south, south.
Walking takes about half an hour. The taxi drivers don’t know where anything is and air pollution is a big problem (today is the first day that the sky is blue since I arrived) so I think I might try the bus.
I got the results of the placement exam today and had a small oral/written test and it seems I’m going to be in the beginners level 2 group, which is about what I had hoped for.
I also failed miserably at ordering food today. I went to a restaurant and asked for tofu, having come to believe it’s a magic word. I selected one of the two tofu dishes by guessing. Did I want a bowl of noodles too? Well... OK. WRONG! The noodle soup also had plenty of meat, which didn’t look very nice even as meat goes. I wasn’t sure asking for another bowl of noodles without meat would be of any use (in hindsight, this may not be true), so I just ate the noodles and left the meat. Neither the noodles nor the tofu was very good, so I bought some kind of panfried bread on the way home which tasted better (even if the nutritional value is questionable).
Mmm... mud... Mmm... meat... Mmm... mud and meat... mmm...
(Damnit, now I’m all hungry again.)