So it’s been a little bit since I got here and here are some observations:
1. I live pretty well in a particularly shitty part of the city. My apartment is something I’d expect in a large city with limited space. A small, 2 room affair with all the amenities a westerner could expect, minus a stove for cooking though. While my furniture is sparse I don’t feel the need to augment it. I have what I need. But I am surrounded by what I would call a slum, multi-generational families living in what most in the west would term squalor. While a good part of me knows thatbthis is to be expected, I still wonder at the contrast in situations as there are Chinese families living similarly to myself surrounded by squalor in what can only be described as a construction zone.
2. Beijing, like many cities is more expensive than what I had already experienced in China. While it is not wildly inflated, I a still annoyed by this development.
3. I am less an anomaly here and more the casual happenstance. I don’t get the stares I did in Wuhan or Nanning, but I’m still a novelty for most Chinese.
4. Holidays are taken seriously…a week off for some strange festival. Being new my sense of loneliness has increased and I’m excited to get back in the classroom. What am I going to do for winter break????
5. The people are as accommodating and friendly as I remember. I’m looking forward to learning and seeing more.