Sanjiaodi, one of the most vivid places on campus

At Beijing University there are a lot of student clubs. As you will see at other universities and other countries it will always be the same – some with be active clubs while others mainly only exist on the paper. Furthermore within the clubs there are active and less active members. There are a lot of those clubs and every now and then they present themselves at Beijing University’s “Sanjiaodi” (Triangle-Area), this is an area where one can seldom ride the bicycle during lunch break as it is crowded at that time.
While there are not only clubs presenting them their activities or showing their skills, there are all kinds of announcements pinned on the boards at Sanjiadi – university related information on all kind of events, like upcoming lectures, movies, theater and musical performances that are hosted at Beijing University’s “Baizhounianjinian-Jiangtang” (a hall to remember the 100th birthday of Beida that was celebrated in 1998) and some notes of people looking for a roommate and job offers.

In my personal opinion, the “traffic situation” at Sanjiaodi has become better in the past month – meaning it is less crowded during the lunch break. The reason might be plain and simple: I might have just become used to the situation and will now keep riding my bike in a slalom around the people. Another explanation would be that the students’ exams are coming closer, some might not have the time to both prepare the exams and have time for their club’s activities. And clubs might be focusing to promote themselves at the beginning of the semesters to gain new members.

Student activities at Sanjiaodi
“German week” at Sanjiaodi

The student association I was coming in contact with most, is the “European Society of Peking University”. They not only helped to find the language exchange partner, but one of my language exchangee is a rather active member, so in early April I found myself at Sanjiaodi to ask questions about Germany…
The student group had organized a German week, were showing movies, had a speaker from the German embassy and had prepared a questionnaire to ask passer-bys at Sanjiaodi about their knowledge of Germany. The questions were rather special and I would not been able to answer all of them if I were asked, but instead I was the one who was supposed to ask the candidates who could win brochures, stickers of small books about Europe and Germany. But after I had asked my three questions I’d often become the one to answer questions about Germany. One man wanted to know what was happening if someone in Germany does not obey construction regulations and is negatively influencing the quality of the nearby residents – a very special case, I guess this happens in China much more often than in Germany, though.
I was working together with two very nice students, and as there were not that many people coming by during our morning shift, we just talked using German, Spanish, English and Chinese as one of the two is studying German and the other Spanish. However, I have to admit that my Spanish isn’t really good anymore since I haven’t used it in ages.

Group picture at Yunmengshan
Group picture at Yunmengshan

There were other activities of the club that I failed for several reasons, but last weekend the club organized a trip I took part of to Yunmengshan (云蒙山), about a three-hour-bus-drive northeast of Beijing.
On Saturday evening a bus full of German and Chinese students went into the mountain area were we had a campfire, karaoke and were playing games, on Sunday we did a six-hour mountain hike through the national park (I don’t know wether it actually is a national park but there was a sign about 云蒙山国家森林公园). We missed a great view as it was really foggy, it was like walking in a cloud – must be the name, since yun (云) stands for clouds. But on the other side it was probably good that we did not have too hot temperatures on our hike: A student who participated last year said that it was terribly hot last time. And the fog, moving fast because of the wind was turning the cliffs into a mysterious scene.


3 Responses to “Sanjiaodi, one of the most vivid places on campus”

  1. sharon Says:

    hey Matt! – I was curious- how is the water in China?
    Is it hard to find clean water to drink?

  2. beijing07 Says:

    Hi Sharon! If you are referring to the tab water: We are not supposed to drink it and have bottled water instead. But I think the water in general in Beijing is all right – in contrast to the water in Wuxi.

  3. Demolition of Sanjiaodi « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] of Sanjiaodi I had earlier written about this central place on the Campus of Peking University, Sanjiaodi, a triangular space that has been focus for several student activities in the past. Actually I by […]

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