Day 2:

3:33 A.M.
It is not yet even 5 and a half hours since I last wrote, yet here I am. Due to my sleeping habits, I was unable to get more than 5 hours of sleep. I suppose with time, my body will adjust and allow me to get a full nights sleep. I did fall asleep at 10 P.M., so I suppose that is good in itself.

There is nothing to be done: I have no food to eat nor internet to amuse myself with. What is excellent about this is that I can use the phone and talk to my family and the contact at FIU. My most pressing concern at this moment is money. I need to have it in my account and I need access to it. I am afraid of the latter more, actually. I only have my bank card, and if my university ATM card does not suffice, I fear the lengths I will have to go in order to withdraw some money. The money my grandmother gave me is proving to be a godsend, but it cannot last forever.

I'd hate to return to Miami simply because I couldn't get to my money. That'd be stupid. However, it wouldn't be that bad, since I'd get to see everyone again. However, I need to stick to my goals. Once I have money and access to it, everything should be smooth sailing from here on out. I'll probably update this later in the day.

Also, I need cereal. And an extension strip, so I can make better use of my two, yes, count 'em, two wall outlets.

3:48 A.M.
New troubles abound. It seems I cannot use the phone card properly: I keep getting "the number you are calling is busy/does not exist" messages, and I have tried my father, my mother, and FIU, in every combination that occurs to me within the parameters of the rules of the card. This is troubling, since this would have been the best time to reach FIU's staff.

Oh well, should my family ever read this, you are first and foremost in my priorities right now. Know that I am safe and sound, and I think of you constantly. I have not forgotten you, although I cannot bear to look at your photo right now; my resolve might weaken. Come daybreak, I'll try again, and it's everything I can do to not sit there and dial repeatedly, futilely, desperately wasting minutes.

Time to pick up a book, I suppose, and as of writing this, it is already 3:53, so day break is but a hundred pages away. Might as well read.

8:27 A.M.

Don't worry, I won't be writing this frequently everyday. This is just as things get sorted out. : )

Just to note that I have awoken, cleaned myself, and I am ready to eat breakfast and walk around campus. I will try to take photos, but I just discovered that I left my USB cable back at home. This means that there will be a very limited amount of photos taken, maybe around 100. Or until my batteries run out, but my dad gave me a goodly amount of them, so that shouldn't be a limiting factor.

No, indeed, what worries me at the moment is the fact that they have maids. The past few days have made me a wit wary, say, and I do worry that some of my things, like my games and camera, will be stolen while I am away. I suppose I can keep the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign up perpetually.

On the other hand, I have discovered a third socket, which means I can now have a lamp, a fridge (important for milk) and my computer all running at the same time! Excellent. I have also calculated that I should wash my clothes every 6-7 days, so I can have one batch that is dirty and one that is clean, and constantly rotate between them.

9:57 A.M.

If you are keeping up with this, I apologize for the constant updates. Since I am just a new arrival, I suppose lots of things will be new and thus I will report them. I suspect once things get settled into a routine (how boring) then the updates will come once a day, and perhaps every other day, eventually.

Glad to find all my things intact (The orderly state of my room perhaps persuaded them to leave it untouched) I have had a rather successful morning thus far. I have found a good morning cafe where I can eat well for 3$ USD (10 Yuan) and took many photos of the campus, which looks rather nice. It does have its unsightly parts, but why wander there if I don't have to?

Language remains a constant barrier, one I aim to surpass quickly. I do plan to devote myself to my Chinese studies over the coming week, and hopefully I'll return to the fluency I had at the end of the spring semester, if not more. Being constantly buffeted by Chinese has forced me to pick it up faster than I had hoped, which is very good.

I have made two acquaintances (don't worry, dad, I am on guard) and they have been very useful thus far. A couple (friendly or loving, I cannot tell) approached me and tried to talk to me. After understanding enough to understand that I don't understand much at all, the feller switches into surprisingly good English (hey, if I can understand it with minimal effort, its good) and asks if I can be in a part of his film on the Beijing Olympics. Apparently, they need a torch holder. Seeing this as an opportunity to learn and perhaps make a few contacts, I accept, much to their joy. They help me obtain my phone number (8230 2078 [call me at 3 A.M. and I'll wallop you a good one over the phone]), give me theirs, and tell me "Call us whenever you have troubles." Then they leave me at my dormitory.

Only thing I have to do now is find a way to call the United States. Something tells me that "01" is not the code for the US.
12:15 P.M.

The meeting with the exchange students going in my place was cancelled, so I am adrift again. I worry, not for the money situation, which does weigh upon me, but for my family, who must surely be worried about me. I wish there was a way to contact them, in any manner, to tell them that I am safe and sound, that I am eating well, that I am comfortable, that I am happy and they would not worry.

I miss them and the comforts of home terribly, but I am confident that I can adapt to the latter. I shall miss them regardless of my situation, even if I were in the nicest place possible. My mission for today is to communicate, in any manner possible, my wishes to them. I also aim to clarify my financial situation. I know that those scholarships are coming, but that does me no good if I cannot access the money.

I also need to register myself with the Chinese authorities once I am assigned classes and I need to talk with the Colombian Embassy here in Beijing to let them know I am here. They may even be able to provide assistance of any sort.

But that requires venturing outside of campus (which is not very large, mind you) and that is a thought that strikes genuine fear into my heart. The city is massive, and I have not mastered the language, although I am making progress swiftly and surely. However, due to my experience with the taxi, I am not sure I want to venture outside unaccompanied. I have to, however, in 30 days, or I will be fined. Further loss of money may mean I'd have to return, and that'd suck.

In short: I miss my family terribly, and my friends as well.