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Journals from China-Studies Institute, Beijing

2011-10-01 You're beautiful, Beijing

China has been amazing so far. Living in Beijing is an experience like no other, with a multitude of things to do. The feeling of novelty and excitement is amplified knowing the fact that this trip, with this particular program, with these exact people will never again be repeated once the semester is over. For that I am both anxious and grateful, because this means that there will be no restraints on trying new things and exploring everywhere and anywhere, because it will never happen again.

Beijing is beautiful. It is polluted and crowded, but it is the epitome of excitement. It is alive with culture in the day and city lights at night. It’s a true city in the sense of all the modern conveniences, with a great transportation system, which I am happily using to get to malls and new restaurants. There are bars, clubs, restaurants, places to shop, and boba tea galore (also known as bubble tea, or nai cha, in Chinese). However, on the other side of Beijing lies a deep history evident within the scattered tile rooftops and small alleyways (called hu-tongs) that hold the culture of China in the kinds of food and wares sold. There are men playing Chinese chess on a piece of paper, sitting atop a wooden wheel barrow large enough to hold them. There are toothless vendors selling fruit that I’ve only seen in the Philippines and then some. There can never be a dull day if you are willing to step outside and have a look around. Beijing holds so many things to discover in its ever-changing wonderland that I will never be satisfied sitting in my dorm with nothing to do, especially knowing that we’ll only be here for another two months. There is a world to discover that lies in Beijing.

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