Anshan: First Impressions

*Graphic bits. Will warn before they start for squeamish readers*


Power was out or else this would’ve been up sooner lol. That’s my high-tech university there.

But anyway, upon arrive in Anshan on Friday, a girl named Tina was there to pick us up. She was super sweet and upbeat and was very willing to help and answer my thousand and one questions.

My first impressions of Anshan were that of disappointment to be honest. While I knew it was a smaller and much more Chinese (as opposed to more Western cities like Shanghai), I think seeing it was a another matter. But that alone didn’t make me feel anything too strong.

Walking on campus I felt the same surprise and the same feeling that everything was much more run down than I originally thought. But again, I was still looking forward to seeing my place

When I got there I was at first quite pleased as the room was nice.. a bit dirty in places but nice and the closet was huge. The point where my stomach sank and lurched at the same time was when I saw the bathroom. I think I should take a photo to show you, but I think it would be cruel if you’re eating.

Some bits like the toilet weren’t so bad because simple cleaning solved it and it’s fine now. But the worst bits are in the grout. It looks like someone put clear seal over grout and it wasn’t done well or it was done a long time ago and it got moldy underneath. It looks horrendous and disgusting.

All these grossities and disappointments came to a head when my toilet reeked of sewage when flushed.. so bad that I was nauseous and it took over my whole room. I went to the main office to be like.. Uhh heyyyy can this be fixed or can I switch rooms and they said there were rooms on the first floor (I was on the second) but the second floor rooms tend to be of better quality. I took a look at 3 rooms on the first floor and they were each pretty awful. My room, other than the smell was really nice.. the bathrooms were all pretty terrible in all of the rooms. I asked if I could decide later since they said the smell might go away.

WARNING *Graphic bits*

But all these things together were a bit overwhelming. Additionally, when we went out to get cleaning supplies and other necessities, I’m pretty sure there is a dog skin hanging on a tree. It MIGHT be some other animal but it definitely looked like a shaggy white dog skin. This broke my heart. I KNOW I have no right to judge it but I can’t help but feel sad when I saw it.

*END Graphic bits*

The whole day I was anxious. How can I stay in this shitty place for 2 years? Even me with all my gusto wanted to go home. I think I made it through because I have George. He was amazing the whole time and he was supportive and sweet which is what I needed.

I talked to Evelyn, my contact at the school and Miss Zhang, one of the other secretaries and told them my concerns and such. Evelyn stated I wasn’t the only, or first to feel this way and that I should give it some time and rest. I took what she said to heart and thought maybe I can make this work.

I spent the day scrubbing my dorm and while my bathroom still looks crappy, it’s at least a lot cleaner.

Saturday I felt so much better and felt much more positive. I saw more of Anshan when our taxi took us a different way to the department store (to get supplies) and I saw a nicer, sleeker, side of the city.

We stopped at a restaurant that looked nice and they had 担担面 (dan dan noodles) Anyone who knew my love of dan dan noodles would know that this would excite me. I got them and was like.. BRAH DEEZ NOODLES DOE.



So yeah. I guess that area of Anshan better fit the image I had in my head so it was nice!

Yesterday I even knocked on the door next to mine to introduce myself and met a girl from Costa Rica who has already been in China for 1 year but she was at Beijing Language and Culture University. Talking to her made me feel better about my nasty bathroom because said said that actually even with the ugliness, what we have is quite nice because at least it’s our own. Apparently many people at BLCU don’t know how to use squatter toilets right and it gets messy. She says I wouldn’t want to know the things she’s seen. The rest of the room she agreed was very nice and she said in comparison, it’s amazing!

So yeah, I feel much better about my situation overall and I’m excited to start classes. Right now I’m kind of bored and it’s hot so I’m not too keen to go explore until it cools down a bit.

I know this was a long post but a lot happened.


Today’s stuff will come shortly! I know, a lot at once, lol.


Laowai Shye


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