I really can’t believe that of my 16 weeks in China there are only 5 more days left until my dad arrives. I certainly have mixed feelings about leaving Beijing, but overall I feel great about the experience I have had, yet ready to come home. I have been slowly packing over the past few weeks and this weekend I am really making a push to try to finish (or at least as close to finish as I can with a few days left). I brought so many clothes with me and I’ve purchased so many new things since I’ve been here, I don’t know how I’ll fit it all!
I had a very interesting opportunity on Wednesday to visit the offices of Nice, which is a photo-sharing app startup company based in Beijing. The app is very popular in China already, and now they are trying to expand into the US. I will be interning with them and helping them remotely when I return to the US.
During my last weekend in Beijing I went to a friend’s apartment where his host parents taught us to make dumplings. It was really interesting for me to get the perspective of what a different host family and apartment was like.
Next week is packed with final exams for me, but I’m really looking forward to our SYA Christmas Party on Friday night and then spending the next week in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong with my Dad.
This will be my last post from China. USA, here I come!
At the end of this week, all SYA students presented speeches in front of the other students, teachers, and even some host parents. The speeches were memorized and entirely in Chinese. I spoke about my passion for exploring the city of Beijing and how this also benefits my Chinese speaking. At first I thought presenting in Chinese for three full minutes would be impossible, but I was able to do it and I am proud of this accomplishment.
Last night, I enjoyed Peking Duck at Beijing’s most famous roast duck restaurant, 全聚德(Quanjude), which has been around for 150 years. It was fun to experience this Beijing tradition.
I also got a haircut this weekend, and I was interested to compare getting my hair cut this time to when I went in September. I noticed a clear improvement in my Chinese level, and I was able to have a conversation with the barber about the Michael Brown case, democracy in the US, and the different Chinese dialects.
2 more miscellaneous pictures:
On Wednesday after school this week I went back to volunteer at the China Care Home orphanage. I really enjoy talking to the children there because their language level is so much closer to mine, so I'm more comfortable speaking Chinese with them.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, which is not celebrated in China, but we had a special celebration at school anyway. There was an amazing buffet for lunch with all the traditional dishes like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. They even had some of the best pumpkin and apple pies I’ve ever tasted. As part of the lunch, I and all the semester students received cards signed by many of my classmates saying goodbye. I was very touched by the nice things my classmates wrote to me.
On Saturday I took a day trip to Tianjin with my friends. Tianjin is 70 miles away but takes only 30 mins by bullet train and costs just $10 to get there. Tianjin was fascinating to visit after living in China for so long because it is almost shockingly different. As a concession city after the Opium Wars, Tianjin looks very European. It also had a more relaxed feel to it than I am used to from Beijing, and I did’t see many people around, which was surprising for a city with 9.3 million people (the 4th largest in China). We had a great time exploring the old concession areas as well as visiting ancient marketplaces and the Tianjin Eye ferris wheel.