Monday, May 12, 2008

Hold That Kit Kat!

Last night, I had a long phone conversation with some folks at the U.S Embassy in Běijīng. I knew the call was coming, and I knew it was going to address my placement at a Chinese university and, consequently, the city we will call home for the next year.

In advance of the call, I asked Desi, Julie, and Z what city they thought we will be living in and what university I will be assigned to. All three of them readily agreed on both scores.


"Réndà." (This is Renmin University, pictured above.)

Now how were they so sure of this? I think it is in part because I study politics, policy, and administration, so being situated in the nation's capital makes sense.

But it is more than this. We have friends who just returned a few months ago from a stint at Réndà. Hearing from them first hand about their time there, their apartment, their daughter's school, and so forth, had the effect, I think, of making Réndà seem very tangible, much more so than anywhere else. As a result, Réndà has become our working assumption, the picture we have been envisioning in our minds.

As for me, I have not been so thoroughly convinced. So I made a bet with the gang. If it is Réndà, then we will go to Hershey Park this summer. I though, get every other city and every other university in China. (With 1.3 billion people, there are a lot of both!) I'm betting on the rest of the field, in other words. And if I win, no Hershey Park. (What a dummy to bet against Hershey Park. If I win, I look like a smarty pants who doesn't want to have fun!)

Fast forward a few hours to the call. Yes, Réndà appears to have been on the list of nine or so schools that at some point have been under active consideration. But it also appears that it is now a long shot for us, with half a dozen schools seeming to be in the current forefront. I'm feeling pretty good about my odds at the moment!

Now, here comes the really fun part, where Desi and the kids try to change the terms of our original bet! Watch...



At 1:21 PM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

Uh...maybe you'll be begging to change those terms when I tell you where we all want to go to this summer now...we do have a track record, you know!
And at least HP didn't require an overnight stay LOL!
Love, Desi


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