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(Subjected to this flood of unfamiliar sounds, Baker and his classmates soon found themselves trying to stay afloat in the same boat.) Friendships and camaraderie quickly grew, ... We did everything together: lunch, studying, dinner and then socializing.


(He also managed to squeeze in some sightseeing: visiting the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall. Still, most of his energy was expended in the classroom, where he learned how to read and write Mandarin.) After awhile, I gave up writing, ... But I still could comprehend the characters.


(Though it might sound unorthodox, Baker sees Chinese as his entrée into the business world. He is working full-time for D.K. Designs, a company that imports jewelry from China.) I would even consider moving to China, ... If a business opportunity arose.


My first roommate was from Hong Kong and spoke perfect English. He also spoke Mandarin and Cantonese but wanted to learn business and legal terms, ... My second roommate was from Northern Ireland. He had taught English in Japan for two years but wanted to work in China.


We are well organized. We've done enough of them to know what we are doing.


My parents were apprehensive about me traveling abroad, with terrorism and other problems. But they decided it was a good fit and supported me 100 percent.


(As an American, Baker was well treated, although some Chinese stereotype Americans as being fat and loud, while others characterize them as) living in a bubble, unaware of other cultures. ... even when they don't mean it.


There were thousands of people riding bikes.


We only had 1to2 clear days a month.


So, one word can mean four different things depending on how you say it.


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