Day 9: Last day in China

Standing in the middle of the Beijing Capital International Airport arrivals with people moving all around me, greeting each other in a language I couldn’t comprehend, looking at signs I couldn’t understand and with absolutely no clue where the Envision Global team I was supposed to meet up with was; the prospect of nine days in completely foreign territory was absolutely terrifying.

The idea of those nine days seemed to stretch out for kilometers (or miles if you’re from ‘Murica) in front of me. Nine days away from home. Nine days in an unfamiliar city. Nine days with people I didn’t know. Nine days during which I would be completely out of my depth.

But those nine days have passed. Nine days experiencing China in all is difference and beauty. Nine days of attempting to communicate with crude Chinese. Nine days of surviving the smog. Nine days of adventure. Nine days of getting to know a group of amazing people.

Nine days now gone.

The last day in China was bittersweet. Continue reading

Day 2: Beijing. Let’s get diplomatic

The first day in Beijing was pure tourism euphoria. Day two saw us international relations and diplomacy peeps get suited up in our professional gear and bus over to the Polish Embassy in Beijing.

Embassies in China have to build their own premises and the Polish were straight up thug about it. Jokes. But the embassy was incredibly posh and larney with huge chandeliers, mirror walled ballrooms and gardens that stretched from the embassy to their residences, tennis court and private hotel. Must be nice Poland.

Speakers included the head of the political division, the head of the economic division and a dude that worked in the media section. All were very friendly and open to answering questions. They emphasizes how after now, after about 15 years of being pretty much dormant when it came to relations and interacting, China and Poland have started engaging in mutually beneficial political and economic trade and diplomacy. Nothing too controversial or scandal worthy.

In the afternoon, we visited the Beijing Foreign Studied University. Dr (I didn’t catch his first name) Xie from the university gave a lecture on ‘The China Dream’ which is basically meant to be the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation achieved through diversity in harmony (very poetic). It was cool to hear about how far China has come since the fall of dynastic rule at the beginning of the 20th century and how much more it’s aiming to gain.

The talk was followed by a tour of the campus given by students who are part of the school of English and International Studies. Our guide was June and she was the sweetest :’) the campus was relatively small but really beautiful.

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^the outside of the BFSU library which is home to thousands of books that cater for the 54 different languages that the school teaches.

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^the entrance to the university. Cool big Flintstonian rock with the schools motto on it.

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^statue in the BFSU gardens

The one thing that’s still super confusing about China is the bathroom situation. It’s a country that is leading the world economically, technologically and pretty much intellectually but there is rarely ever any toilet paper or soap on the bathrooms. It’s like these are not a thing here. Also, if you find an actual toilet it’s time to rejoice because majority of the time, you’ll run into the bathrooms with your bladder bursting at the seams, swing open a stall door only to be greeted by a hole in the floor. It has been dubbed the “squatty potty”. Asian ladies must have thighs of steel after using the long drops/ squatting toilets. Yoh but the toilet struggle is real.

Diplomacy day was both intellectually and sweatulectually stimulating. This city is haaaawt; especially when dressed in professional gear (which for me was all black errythang. Rookie error).

Hopefully day three brings along some clouds and reprieve from the sun.

Stare dolceย