It’s been quite a while since I last. I’ve planned to do it several times but something else always popped up so I’m going to try to summarize what’s happened since my last post. I’ve finally gotten my passport back with my new Visa so I can go to Tokyo next weekend which I’m very excited about. I also had another visitor that arrived just after Frida left which meant I had to redo all the sightseeing again. While we had a lot of fun it’s nice to finally be able to go back to normal after 3 weeks of sightseeing. The big exception however is that we visited the Great wall at Jinshanling (see pictures above). It took 4 hours due to massive queues during labour holiday but it was so worth it. There were almost no tourists and it wasn’t restored either so it was very cool to see. Since it also zigg-zagged a lot it resulted in quite a view. The weather was absolutely sublime at a steady 33 degrees. Then it took us another 4 hours back. Still worth it though.
Then it was time for Valborg. For those that do not know Valborg is a festival celebrated at the end of April and usually results in people sitting in a park drinking alcohol. Beijing was not an exception. Young Professionals organized a get together or whatever you want to call it in Chaoyang park where we played Kubb and had a good time together. On the way to our massage Sophia and I came across a very interesting situation. At an intersection cars were waiting to turn left and the light was red. The 2nd car honked and honked and honked and then he just got out of his car and started banging on the other guys windshield. I guess he had someplace to be.
Today I had lunch in the school cantine for the first time. All the food was displayed in big trays and you had to point at whatever you wanted, no english description. It was rather interesting and I managed to get edible food which is definitely not something you can expect here in China. On my way home I managed to find a truck belonging to my employer. The work morale in China seems to be a bit lower than in Sweden and the driver had decided to take a nap. We’re also in the middle of a sandstorm so the weather is kind of bad right now with the AQI way of the charts (500 is max for the scale, it’s currently on 900…). I also had a Skype call with Fiona the other day and we browsed extremely expensive homes that we’d probably never afford but it was a lot of fun. The quality on Skype wasn’t the best though but sometimes you have to make due with what you’ve got. That’s all for me this time.
So last week passed by extremely quickly. Every day we’ve visited different parts of Beijing. The hutongs, summer palace, Beihan park, my school and so on. I wasn’t feeling very well come Thursday and had to visit the doctor but (sadly) the didn’t find anything. On Friday we went for dinner with some friends at the cockroach, beers at the german pub and later on karaoke. We had some problem finding an ATM so we were running back and forth for money as we were going on a tour the following day. We finally got home at 3.00 and got to sleep for 3 hours before getting up to go see the Ming Tombs and the great wall. It was the first time that I visited the ming tombs and I must say that they were quite the disappointment. The wall on the other hand is nice as always and we the weather was amazing. As part of our tour we had to visit a jade factory and a tea house which was pretty dull but it kept the price of the transport down. When we got home from the tour we were so tired that we almost fell asleep instantly. We ended up ordering takeout.
On Sunday we checked off the 2nd last item on our list; the Temple of Heaven. Being so close to the Pearl Market we also ended up doing some shopping. Later that night we went out for burgers and beer at my favourite place, Great Leap. After that we rounded up our week at a cool, hidden bar that has the most amazing drinks. When we finally got home we couldn’t find our keys. After some moments of panic we called a locksmith who opened the door. When we got in we found the key in Fridas bag. An interesting end to a fun day. Worth mentioning is also that the elevator has been broken for a week now and we live on the 7th floor…
Been a while since the last posts but the days just fly by and suddenly a week has passed without you noticing it. My weekend started very dramatically. At about 10 on the Friday we here people shouting and chairs being thrown. It turns out that a student next door has gone bananas and is throwing punches everywhere. Me and 2 other guys rush in to help holding him down and I end up getting an elbow to the face. 4 days later though it ended up being worth it as the guy was deported, I got a USB stick as a thank you from the school and we saved a younger guy from getting beaten up. After that I had lunch with Dani (a chilean girl from my class) and we went together to the embassies as I was going to the Swedish and she was going to the Chilean (they’re in the same neighbourhood). I ended up listening to a 30 min Spanish presentation on how to vote in the chilean presidential election 2017 at the chilean embassy. It was interesting seeing how the embassy and how chilean people are. For example the remind me of french people as they kiss on the cheeks when they meet.
Later that night I went out to the airport at halv past midnight. After one hour of waiting I get a text message from Frida. It turns out that her bag was left in Moscow. At the time we expected it to arrive early Saturday morning. It didn’t arrive until Sunday afternoon which meant we had to go on a shopping spree. As we got home so late (3 in the morning) we woke up quite late and the entire day was spent at Pearl Market. Luckily we had our shopping guru with us (mom) who knew all the ways to the best shops that you’d never be able to find without a guide. One was hidden behind some fake plants and the other one was inside another. Sunday was spent in the same fashion having brunch at Solana and shopping.
Monday meant it was time for sightseeing. We (Frida) decided that we should visit 798 art district. It takes some time to get there but it’s definitely worth seeing. It’s an old abandoned military factory where they’ve opened up several hipp shops and display streetart. I bought a little motorcycle statue made of scrap metal and Frida bought a painting.
Today (Tuesday) we visited the forbidden city. It was my fifth time but it’s always nice going there. The weather was absolutely amazing as well. For the first time I visited the lookout post and it was nice, you could see the forbidden city in its entirety (see pictures above). On our way down though we managed to get lost and walked really far. Amazingly enough though we ended up in the hutongs where we wanted to be and I had frozen yoghurt.
Train stations are usually smaller and easier to navigate than airports. Except when you’re in China. Beijing has 4 train stations and they’re all the size of an airport. Makes sense though since the train rides are usually longer than most flights. Anyways, we took the train at 10 this Saturday from 北京南-station and 5 hours later we arrived in Shanghai （上海). The train trip was rather uneventful but what’s interesting about taking the train in China is that Chinese people ALWAYS have to chew on something. This means that your nose is constantly bombarded by different smells of food. I am amazed how a family can eat continuously for 5 hours but it as apparently possible. I haven’t done much this weekend except sightseeing and having drinks at skybars. Absolutely fine by me. I took the train home alone Monday night and had the Tuesday off as well as it’s tomb sweeping day. Tomorrow I’m back to school again at 8 in the morning, woho. We also have a presentation on Thursday where we’re suppose to talk about a celebrity which in my case is Morgan Freeman. I also need to hand in my passport as I need to apply for another entry into China. Will be interesting to see how it works. Friday night my friend finally arrives so I also need to start planning that. It will be an eventful weekend hopefully.
Some people might also think after reading some of my posts that I am negative towards Chinese people. Their culture is very different from the one I’ve grown up in and therefore it’s perceived as negative. The one thing that can make you extremely annoyed of Chinese people is the subway. Whenever they get on the subway a lot of them just stand in front of the door, even though there’s plenty of room in the cart. They do not move aside so you can get on which means you have to press yourself through and somehow they get annoyed because of that. Queues does not exist in China. People do not wait for you to get off the train, they will rush on as soon as the doors open. It’s an interesting country.
I was suppose to post an update last Wednesday came, then Thursday followed by Friday and finally it’s Wednesday again. Finding the time to blogg is more difficult than I expected. Anywho. As mentioned we had a calligraphy class last Wednesday. It was fun but very difficult. Sadly my ink was a bit too watery so it’s very light. The rest of the week wasn’t very exciting. We did however go to a Persian restaurant Persepolis one day, they had really nice food.
This Tuesday we finally got some good weather and we decided to play some football. On campus we have a large football field, a natatorium, basketball fields, tennis courts etc and we decided to use it. It was fun, I haven’t played football for several years.
Today we had our pinyin competition. It was divided into several segments;
As expected the highest class won but we had fun anyways. This weekend we’ll be celebrating Tomb-sweeping day which means no school Monday/Tuesday. We decided to spend the weekend in Shanghai so on Saturday we’ll be taking the train. It takes about 5 hours. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more pictures then.
Today it was time for our first excursion out of two, the visit to Lao She teahouse The busses left campus at 8.30 and got there at 9.40 but since I live closer to the teahouse I could go directly from home which meant I didn’t have to get up so early. Once we got to the teahouse they started the show instantly and we were served tea. They showed several cultural Chinese things such as how to pour tea and how it was made. In addition to this they had a magician, acrobats, bian lian (mask changing, can read more about it here) and some guy spinning stuff. It was really cool and a welcome pause from the studies. After the visit Alex, Jasio and I went to Tian’anmen square as they hadn’t been there before. As expected several people wanted to take pictures with us which is always fun. Tomorrow we’re going to try calligraphy in our “Life in China” class so most likely I will post another update then. Looking forward to it (even though my handwriting is horrible).
In order to give this post some length I figured I could write a couple of lines of how I like it here. I’m having a great time, getting to eat good food and discover new restaurants/places every day. I’ve only used my mask once when the AQI was over 300, otherwise I don’t use it that much. My daily routine is basically go to school, have lunch somewhere, go to the gym (mon/wed/fri) and then go home to do my homework. The homework is usually characters or to revise (复习) the previous lesson. All in all Beijing is a very interesting city and no day is the other alike.
So, been a while since I last blogged. it turned out to be more difficult than expected. Last Sunday I decided to go for a walk in the park next to where we live. It is enormous and it turned out to have an amusement park inside and batting cages which I’ll definitely try in the future. The weather has been off the charts this week with temperatures at a steady 16-18 degrees however it’s always down to ~1 degree in the morning when I get home so you still have to wear a lot of clothes when you go out.
This Tuesday we decided to try a noodle place for lunch. It was a new experience because you ordered and paid in the app and then your order got placed on the screen in the middle and when it was ready it showed which till you were suppose to pick up your lunch from. Wasn’t the best lunch I’ve tried but it was definitely interesting trying it.
Wednesday meant “Life in China” time. This time we were suppose to see Beijing opera and mask painting so we could white masks and painted them. It was interesting but painting isn’t a skill I possess.
Friday is when the interesting thing happened. We were told that we were going to have our next class together with teacher-students so they could learn how to teach Chinese for foreigners. I expected i to be a big class with every class together but when we got there in the morning we noticed that it was just us. And we were suppose to sit in the front in front of 100 teachers and have a class. Every time we needed to talk we did so through a microphone and it was all recorded with big cameras. Kinda awkward but fun. In the evening me and 3 classmates went to Great Leap for dinner & beer.
Today (Saturday) I went shopping with mom and had lunch at Solana shopping center. After that I met my language partner for the first time. I was kind of nervous as I had never met her before and didn’t even know how she looked. We had decided to go see a movie (Logan) which was great. In addition to this she turned out to be a very nice 19 year old law student, hopefully I’ll get to see more of her in the future.
Friday has come and with it comes rest. As part of my new healthy life Friday is also workout day and since it’s my first week I figured I might as well go out with a bang which resulted in my first 5k under 30 min ever, very happy with that result. If I can keep this up for 4 months it’ll be interesting to see the result.
After the gym session I went home to shower and then I met up with some friends at the german pub. The original plan was to go to Great Leap with some friends from school but they felt ill so that plan was ditched. Next week instead. After the german pub we continued towards my favourite restaurant, “the cockroach”. Despite its unappealing name they have the best food in Beijing in my opinion. After that we continued to a cocktail bar called nice and night or something like that .They had really good drinks but quite expensive. At about 00.30 I decided it was time to go home. Biking home late at night when there aren’t so many cars on the roads is very nice. Looking forward to being able to sleep past 6 tomorrow.
Not much exciting has happened this week so far. The entire class had lunch together after school on Wednesday and after that I went to the gym again. I’ve also helped a friend book her ticket to Beijing and she’s visiting in april, looking forward to it a lot.
In addition to this the weather is very nice in Beijing right now, usually around 17 degrees. The downside is that it’s very windy which makes it feel cold outside. In Beijing you don’t talk about how the weather is as much as how the air is. Whenever it’s windy the air is good – when it’s not the air is usually bad. There are plenty of apps that helps you check the Air Quality Index (AQI) and it tells you whether to wear a mask or not. Tomorrow (Friday) I’m going to Great Leap Brewery (my favourite) with a couple of friends for dinner.
Some people we’re also wondering how I live. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of my apartment.
Monday, the worst day of the week. School per usual and after that lunch at the Steps. Today was burgerday which was awesome. After that it was finally time to start with something that I’ve tried to do for 7 years: gymming. Now as I have access to a gym for free I don’t really have an excuse anymore so today was the day that it started. Hopefully we’ll be able to see some change by the time I get home.
I’ve also wanted to create a photo wall (like everyone else) but never gotten around to it but printing pictures in Beijing was so cheap that I decided it was time. The plan is to continue adding pictures to it.
Otherwise not much has happened and no spectacular plans either. I am alone again as my parents have left for Sweden so my plan is to stay away from home as much as possible and hopefully meet some new people. My goal this week is to hit the gym trice and learn 20 Chinese characters, it’s always good to have something to aim for 🙂
Jag heter Ludvig Eriksson och är 24 år. Denna blogg består till 120% av mitt liv som student och alla galenskaper som sker ihop med det. Ibland kommer det det även in en gnutta allvar också såsom jobb. Följ med på en galen resa med mig och min rosa overall!