Hello from Beijing!
To be honest, it still hasn’t hit me completely that I’m here, at the political center of this vastly influential and enormous country, with 15 government-issued friends, sitting through 7-9 hours of Chinese class and 2 hours of designated self-study time afterward—who knew there were so many damn hours in a day? I didn’t, at least not until now, perhaps too late—my time isn’t mine anymore, every hour belongs to a Liu or a Li Lao Shi (the two most common names of the teachers here in Beijing) or a list of 18 han zi that we’re supposed to review the night before and memorize for ting xie the next day.
But. Enough of the complaining. My situation is almost too good to be true: basically, no obligations or “life-responsibilities” to be an older sister, daughter, or student of anything (except the Chinese language) for 9 months. I’m so grateful and happy to here that sometimes I find myself grinning like a fool while showering, or sitting at lunch, or walking to the local supermarket for the umpteenth time to pick up soap (oh Greta, you and your daily Carrefour runs).
A few of the highlights from this absolutely overwhelming week:
- Just heard Ella say “I’m having trouble with the fact that I can’t study everything they give me every day because 生词太多…”
- One of the teachers was very traditional and she was putting down Taiwan a lot—she was so judgemental for anything remotely Taiwanese.
- Asked two of my teachers today their views of ShiHuangDi—more on that later.
- Roommate party was tonight! Bonding time.
More will come later! (Beijing 798 Art District tomorrow—so excited to be back in an art space)