Beijing: Reflecting on the First Eight Weeks

Lotus Lake attracts many tourists, especially the 老人. This was taken in late February when the snow was still melting - it will be much prettier in the next few weeks!
I forget the significance of this temple, but I will edit once I remember! :)

Ok, let’s face it.  I’ve failed miserably at updating my blog in congruence to my life in real-time.  But my last post on food was satisfying, no?  Today, I realized that I’ve been in Beijing for 8 weeks but my blog has shown no signs of my presence in this city.  I can construct a long list of excuses on why this is, but it all dwindles down to not knowing what to write about or how to write it.

A lot has happened in the last two months – I turned 21, joined the school’s hip hop team, traveled to Malaysia and Singapore for my first break, and my dad visited just this weekend.  Though, whenever I clicked on “New Post” to start writing, I wasn’t ready to organize my thoughts and share my stories quite yet.

Coming to Beijing this time around has been, in short, very different from my month-long stay at Beijing Language and Culture University two years ago.  I had much higher expectations before starting this semester and I honestly can’t say that they have been completely met.  Some say to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but I think that sometimes it’s better to have no expectations and jump into a situation with a clean slate, because that’s exactly what I did at BLCU which turned out to be an unforgettably amazing trip.

I’ve met many students who are in Beijing for their first time and are fascinated with every inch of Wudaokou and Sanlitun, but I’ve already gone through that scene so it’s all semi-old news to me.  And I’ve visited most of the tourist spots so I’m not wowed by the Forbidden City or Temple of Heaven.  This time, I was ready to go on more local adventures with people as motivating and influential as the last.  Which, of course, I am.  But I want much more in terms of networking and finding opportunities that I wouldn’t normally come across in the states.  I thought it would be easier but it’s just as difficult here in China, which wore me down and caused me to have no energy to write about this city I praised about so much before.

Though, I can only blame myself for being so disappointed recently.  Granted, I’m here for a short semester, but it also means that I have four more months in Beijing.  What’s the rush?  I have plenty of time to explore and gradually create relationships such as the ones I cherish from BLCU.  If I continue comparing these two experiences then there’s really no reason for me to move forward with this program.  My month at BLCU was meant to be enjoyable on a short-term, but here at Tsinghua I need to be patient for things to come together.  It took a long while for me to fully admit this, but I can finally get over it now and take advantage of my time here.

Alright, sob story of my soul-searching is done.  My next post revisits my hometown for the last time before I update on Beijing, which I promise will be more positive and interesting than this one.  Til next time!

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