Quick Post: Peking University Gate Guards & Lines
I have been in Beijing for almost four weeks now. Almost every day I find myself going on campus, obviously for class. Peking University has many different gates that one can enter from; each gate is stationed with guards, be it for pedestrians or vehicles.
My first musing: Every day (weekends included), there are masses of people lined up outside the East Gate of Peking University. Morning, noon, afternoon, there are always people trying to get in. There are little kids, senior citizens, and middle aged adults trying to get in. I find it fascinating that so many people want to enter the campus.
I can understand the young kids and their parents; just like we visit colleges in the United States, I’m sure parents would want their kids visiting one of the best universities in China too. Of course, the sheer difference in population certainly plays a role.
My second musing: The guards here are very courteous. If you try to just enter the gate, they won’t let you through. Not just anyone can enter campus; even all the people waiting in line need a passport/identification and other things (I’m not really familiar with what they need/the process to get in). But as a student of Peking University, I just show my ID card.
At the less busy gates (there’s a gate slightly north of the East Gate, which is the large gate that everyone uses), there are usually a few guards there. The gate I use us normally for bicycles, but pedestrians can enter as well. Cars, to my knowledge, cannot enter/exit from the gate I usually use; they have to use the East Gate. But at these gates, the guards ask to see my ID. To avoid them asking and me taking time to get it out, I usually just show them as I walk through. They normally don’t stop people.
Anyway, more than few times the guard has actually saluted to me. One time in particular, just a few days ago, I was walking up to the gate with my ID card out. The guard put down his water and saluted as I walked through. I thought it was very interesting, to say the least.
My third (and small) musing: The campus is rather well guarded, in my opinion, given the amount of people who 1) want to enter and 2) live in Beijing/China. I usually need to show my ID to enter campus. Then, to enter my classroom building, I need to show my ID once again. The classroom building EAP is in is 4 stories tall with 15 classrooms/lecture halls per floor (size of the room varies, some fit 30, some fit 200).
Anyway, it’s almost 2AM now and I’m still up…I’m working on a paper, and it’s not even due until Monday. Although, I don’t have class until 3PM Tu-Fri, so I don’t really need to sleep early usually. Anyway, more to come later, for now, paper time then sleep!