See also: 5 Reasons To Study Abroad in Beijing
Everything. Just about everything that I knew about life has changed since my move to Beijing. Oh no.. #instaquotes still apply and if you follow me on twitter you would know! What i’m referring to though, is the way of life, the old and familiar. It is not a bad thing. I came here with an open mind and that filled up pretty quickly. So one month in living abroad in Beijing, leading an expat life or study abroad life; whatever you call it – my life, what’s new?
I can be judgemental sometimes, but on very rare occasions. So i’m trying to rid off that idea here altogether and try to understand local customs without comparing everything. Now for starters, bye bye Health & Safety!! I think everyone would appreciate it. It does not exist here in China! Starting with my building.. what fire regulations? If there was a fire, i’m pretty much dead! My nearest fire exit is chained with a lock and my ground floor windows have metal bars, just sayin’… There are bottomless pits dug out outside and left with no fencing or signage . Roadworks so out in the open that I almost felt I was in a Transformers movie once and was stood there in amazement expecting that excavator to turn into bumble-bee! Didn’t happen…
Travel in Beijing
The good, the bad and the ugly. Public transport in Beijing is good, cheap and ever-developing. It seems whilst TfL are doing engineering works over the weekend, Chinese folks build a whole new line. There are many Beijing Subway lines, running spacious frequent trains and all at a cost of 2RMB (20p) no matter where you go. It’s hard to describe the size of Beijing, but it’s super vast, like a universe! Chinese Universe! Therefore, although buses here cost from 2p for students to 10p for PAYG, journeys are long and tedious. God forbid the rush hour, whether you’re on a train, a bus or in a taxi – you might as well make yourself at home there, it will be a while..
Chinglish? If only..
Why my mama didn’t tell me to learn Chinese? It is essential. No one speaks english. Unless all they do is deal with foreign tourists, they won’t speak english. Like at all. So I am patiently trying and my vocabulary now reached 10 words or so. Every attempt to speak Chinese is thrown off with a complicated answer that seems to last so long that they’re probably telling me their whole life story. I wouldn’t know. It’s hard. But I am far from giving up. I have Pleco, I have Baidu Translate (google translate rip-off basically) and I take pictures of things I want haha Plus I can order a take-away, cold sprite, this and that and thank you. You see?
You know those little water fountains you have at university or in other public places? Well they don’t exist here. Although, I don’t know if one would like to drink whatever sludge would come out of that fountain.. What they do have is hot water taps! Everywhere. Green tea? Please! Latte on the go? Make it yourself. Pretty cool, unless you’re thirsty. Buying bottled water here is so normal like buying toilet paper. It’s just you buy it everyday. I’m sure even locals do. Not worth taking the risk.
Living in Beijing is a whole different story. A long one too. So i’ll keep on going, just in another post. Stay tuned 🙂