Happy Friday everyone! As I heard about snow blanketing the midwest as we approach the month of May, I thanked the Lord that I’m not there. Not to rub it in, but the 70ºF weather here was so enjoyable, that these local Beijingers found any and every location suitable for some outdoor, mid-afternoon naps…
My parents have mentioned a few times during Skype chats that my grandpa doesn’t believe I’m actually working in Beijing. He thinks, after reading my blog posts, that it can’t be possible for me to work full time and experience the things that I have written about. For those of you that share his concern, I am working. I promise. I just don’t want to bore anyone with the mundane details that coincide with a 9 to 5 job, therefore I stick to broadcasting events that are (I hope) interesting.
So, for those of you wanting to see my office environment…
See? Hard at work 🙂
This past weekend I relished the opportunity to enjoy one of the most gloriously spring-like days we’ve had in a while. I know Beijing is not alone in this seemingly endless dismal weather, but I must say; the fact that every building’s heat was mandated to be turned off the day before a blanket of snow enveloped the city was simply cruel.
To say that I welcomed Saturday’s sunshine with open arms would be an understatement. It was one of those days where you couldn’t walk outside without smiling a little.
I met a few friends in the park with not much more on my agenda than soaking in as much sunshine as possible. Among one of the several new people I met was a guy from Uruguay named Bruno. We only had a brief conversation, but something he said stuck in my mind even a few days later. He was describing how he had lived in Beijing for a year and was planning on staying for a longer, undetermined amount of time. Someone joked about him wanting to learn more about why Chinese people spit on the ground the way they do and he smiled and responded, “no, I really just want to learn more of the Chinese language and get a grasp on the culture. I feel as though we are visitors here. It’s easy to think that something someone does is odd, but who are we to judge? It may be different to us, but I want to learn more about it.”
The way he said it was so free of judgement–of either the Chinese culture or the person mocking that spit is a common occurrence in public. It was one of the most open-minded statements I’ve heard since being here and sometimes I just need an obvious statement like that to remind me to be grateful of where I am and how much I get to experience while here.
Back in February while I was visiting Hong Kong I had met two goofy lads from Canada. They had told me they were about to embark on a four-month-long journey, beginning in Hong Kong and ending in Russia. After spending a couple hours, a few beers, and a traditional Hong Kong dim sum meal with them, we said our farewells and went our separate ways.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself meeting up with Alan and Geoff after they emailed announcing their arrival in the capital city. When we met up in Beijing, they were a little worn out from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai, but nonetheless enthusiastic to be in traveling. It seemed like just the other day I was giving them advice in Hong Kong on how to order food in Chinese and to beware of the bathrooms.
If you couldn’t tell by my lack of blog postings, the month of March has been a little dull and centered around work. It was definitely a nice break from my everyday schedule to meet up with people that had new and exciting stories from their experience in China. Specifically rabid dog stories.
I’ve found that some of the most interesting people you’ll meet while abroad are only with you for a fleeting moment, but you’ll remember them and hold the impression they made on you for even longer.