After the mid-program break, my classes of Chinese got more intense. I was finally able to put together sentences in Chinese and have a basic conversation. My new professor was great. At the same time, I have finished my Political Science class and started Chinese Traditional Medicine class. TCM is a very interesting area to study and in a very short time I’ve learned to do basic acupuncture. Our trip to TCM hospital gave me even bigger insight into this form of medicine. I both practiced and experienced cupping on my skin. It helped me with back pains I often have problems with. I learned basics of TCM massage, and observed how TCM diagnosis is established, and how acupuncture is practiced with electrodes.
As the end of the program approached, we decided to pay a visit to Inner Mongolia. This autonomous region of China was just few hours bus-ride from Beijing but it felt like a whole different planet. We spent nights in yurts, in the middle of grasslands. We rode horses after modest breakfast in the village we stayed at. I had a chance to try horse milk tea, which is salty but weirdly satisfying. Over the next two days I slid down the dunes of Urumqi desert, and studied Inner Mongolia history in Hohhot national museum. Without a stretch, Inner Mongolia was probably the best experience I’ve had in China so far and I warmly recommend it to future program participants.