By A Student, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017    

The main word that pops into my mind when I think about China is “wow”. China really was an experience. On this trip, I decided to go to Beijing to see the Great Wall, but after being crowded, grabbed and treated like an animal at the Zoo, I have no idea what I was thinking. The experience I had was pretty rough, to say the least. 

My first problem was getting a ticket printed for the train to Beijing. The train station was having a problem printing out my friends ticket and was unwilling to help us with the problem. We had been sent back and forth to 2 different desks at least 3 times until we finally got on someone's nerves enough for them to just help us. That was strike one. 

The next problem was that I had left my bag of clothes in the station that our train left from. Obviously that was my mistake, but when I asked one of the workers on the train if their was a number I could call, she literally ran away from me and my friend. Strike two. 

Let me also add the fact that during this whole adventure that people would continue to stare or take pictures. I understand that some of the visitors were coming from other locations as tourists themselves, but I feel as though if a lot of them were sneaking the pictures, that meant that they knew what they were doing was rude, otherwise they wouldn’t have snuck the pictures. Some people did ask, but I noticed a lot of people pretending to take selfies or pictures of something else, but really the only thing in the pictures were me and my friends. That was Strike 2 1/2. 

The final and 3rd strike that confirms that I will never go back to China again, was the fact that so many taxis refused to take us anywhere. The thought that if I came back again and it was still as difficult to explore the town the way I would've liked makes me uninterested in coming back. The way I was treated as a tourist as well as the way other people I heard were treated makes me feel as even though China is physically open to American travelers, doesn’t mean they are mentally and that is something I feel as though they need to work on before I can even consider coming back.