Main campus of Tsinghua University
After my brief stay at he Academy of Sciences, I was off to another school just down the road, Tsinghua University. This is perhaps the most prestigious school in China, and speaking to a group there was a big honor to me, even if it was just 10 people. I first visited this campus at night, and it was quite beautiful, like an Ivy League school. I was put in a guest hotel for the school, which was at the oustside of the massively sprawled campus. The first evening there I was treated to dinner by the Director of the Materials Department, Zhang Zhenjun, who is my professor's colleague and friend. We walked a short way to a building with a lareger than life golden buddha (the fat one) in the marble decorated lobby. Pretty girls dressed in "traditional" clothes led us to an elevator, which took us to the third floor and a private room.
Tsinghua is set inside the city's fourth ring on the northeast side. This campus is buzzzzzzing with bicycle traffic, be careful or you'll get smashed.
This seems to be quite popular, with both my hosted dinners being in private parlors. The large round table was filled with a variety of dishes, including a simple but amazing pork dish in a clay pot, which was covered with a thick layer of fat, but the meat just fell apart, amazing. There was a great presentation to the food, and I am sure it wasn't cheap. I was chastised for asking for Tsingtao and was brought a bottle of Beijing
beer, which seems to be how people are here, they drink the local beer or an import, Tsingtao doesn't get a fair shake. After the big meal we went to the office where one of the dinner guests Cai Hong brought me to my home in a taxi. It was a nicer place than the last, and I was ready to pass out. I also was introduced to an interesting concept there. The keycard to the room is put in a slot which enables power to the room, and when removed the power is cut after a minute. It can be annoying but is certainly a good way to reduce power consumption, and though it would help a lot, the US could never handle such an incovenience, being that you have only one card. I am finding that although the chinese get a bad rap for being pollutive, they are also doing more than we are in some areas of conservation. Either way, so tired, sleep by 11 PM.