LAST DAY IN BEIJING
So… just got to Vietnam last night. I finished the program in 北师大. And I am in the car currently heading to Bac Lieu, the hometown where my family is.
I reckon I should reflect on these two months and two weeks. I spent here in Beijing.
I feel that my Chinese really has improved a lot. Despite my limited vocabulary and listening skills, I can have conversations with my local friends on topics from family/ personal history to arguing about whether Taiwan is actually part of China. Also the word for Marine Corps is really long 海军陆战队 ( it is a really long name for a single entity, but at least it makes logical sense when you look at each character). My next mission is to improve my listening and reading comprehension, they are both my biggest issues, yet the most useful ones. I had a conversation with a friend how apparently its usually the opposite ( as in listening tends to be better than speaking) and how I am a freaky weirdo for it.
The classes itself were pretty intense( at least for me) we had 4 hours of class everyday, I ended up spending most of the weekdays on homework. So it felt like a full time job(except I don’t get paid dang it). Plus I had a part time job and internship hunting which has yet to bear much fruit. Wow, I make myself sound so busy, ( of course I had my share of screwing around).
I was lucky to have the chance to check out a lot of things in Beijing while I was here. I was able to go to 天坛Temple of Heaven，颐和园 Summer，故宫Forbidden City，天安门上场Tiananmen Square, and长城 the Great Wall. Hutongs were really nice to go to as well. Some where incredibly touristy and crowded, while others were more local and only slightly less crowded. Making/having local friends before hand really made the difference in my time here. It gave me a chance to practice my Chinese outside of class and let more explore the city.
Making local Chinese friends probably made the biggest part of my experience in Beijing. Doing my internship in DC with the Ameson Foundation was clearly a very good choice( almost strategic really). Connected me with people that connected me to people that connected me to people in Beijing that I could meet. I literally had a friend of a friend pick me up from the airport and take care of my sim card and phone issues for me before I got there. I also had my old Chinese teacher’s friend’s cousin (I am not even kidding) hook me up with a job with KKtalkee. Since it was based in the US and checks got sent to a US address, it resolved any issues I would have had about getting a paid job in the China. I am quite blessed to have had the resources and friends that I had in my two months here in China.
Oh yeah, speaking of local friends, I was lucky enough to meet up with my friend Gabbie! We first met in 2013 in Hong Kong. Crazy enough she is living in Beijing and the same time I happen to be there( I now owe her 1000 kuai, long story) ! Which brings me to a point about traveling and saying good bye to folks. Often times at the end of a trip/ program people get sad and say good bye, then they start crying ( mostly from a inconvenient combination of emotions and tear ducts). However, if this Beijing trip has proven anything, its that the world is much smaller than we think it is. Aside from Gabbie, I also met Ada in Beijing ( I almost met with yet another friend from DC but we were both too busy) then I met the Hillebrands back when I was in DC. The lesson here is, its usually never goodbye, its more like “I will see you again”. Which is perfect for me because suck at saying goodbye.
不是bye bye 而是再见
ONE LAST THING
I visited my friend’s little workshop and they had a SICK project going on. They were making fully electric motorcycles. They get up 180 Kilometers/ hour ( About 90 mph). They are fully electric so you save tons of money on gas. The best part is that you can charge it virtually anywhere ( including your kitchen electrical outlet if you really wanted to). Another cool feature is that because it is essentially a juiced up electric scooter, there are no gears to change and moving is as simple as flicking your wrist