Hello and Welcome

As I am currently away from home for study, and as Skype has proven to be rather problematic in terms of time zones, I have decided to start a blog in an attempt to keep in touch with family and friends back in Canada.

July 19, 2011

First Post


I have now been in Hangzhou China for two months and have decided to start a blog in order to try to keep in touch all of you since other methods are more difficult and the different time zones make Skype an unreliable method.

So far I have mostly been going to language classes which I have every weekday. Right now they are in the mornings from 8:30-noon. On Tuesday I have a Tai-qi class in the afternoon.

Most of the time I eat my meals in the International Student Cafeteria, they have picture cards with some of the more popular dishes on them, which was really helpful when I first arrived and did not know how to order anything. =) Now however, I know the names of my favourite dishes so I am able to ask for them.

The campus is near downtown Hangzhou so exploring is relatively easy and the area is very safe. On campus there are quite a few small corner stores, drink and pastry places and fruit shops. I tend to buy a lot of mangoes and watermelon as a result, especially since they are so much cheaper than in Canada, most food is. Well, oranges and apples are very expensive. Off campus the closest shopping centre is Trust-Mart which is like Wal-mart (They copied the logo and were actually bought by Wal-mart a while back) and there are a few small specialty shops around it.

Over all, everything is a lot cheaper here. Not electronics though. I spend about 20 kuai on food a day, which works out to be about $3. =P I am going to buy a camera soon, I forgot to bring the charger to the one that I brought.

I have bought a pot and some basic cooking tools, just two days ago I bought a teapot. Last weekend I bought some really nice teas from the tea museum, I will be sending some back to you. =) I did not buy the green tea though since it was fairly expensive and I did not bring enough money.

The West Lake is nice and I have gone there a few times as it is peaceful and a lot quieter than it is on campus. The weather, however, has been extremely hot lately and so we have been staying in more during the worst of it.

We have met the older cohorts, attached is a picture of a cake we ate during a birthday celebration. The first time we met them we went for a dinner with Xie Laoshi and then to the West Lake. The second time was the birthday celebration, which we had at a BBQ and buffet restaurant at which a popular dish was ketchup, covered bananas, although I did not try one. After that we went to KTV which was fun.

I also finally figured out what the address to my building is:

Simone Payne
Room 213 Building 31
Yuquan CampusZhejiang University
310027 Zhejaing

I also found some other pictures which I have now added to the post.


  1. $3 a day on food is great! what are some of the foods that you are eating?

    Sounds great Simone, please keep updating. :)