Moving to Beijing: Just like starting over...
Having spent a year in Shanghai, one would think that I would be pretty much a pro when it came to conversation, navigation and frustration. However, my move to Beijing feels like my life has been rewound a whole year and I'm having to start all over again.
The checklist still reads: 1. Familiarise myself with the city, 2. Make new friends, 3. Study Mandarin. On the upside, I suppose I could see this as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start the new year as a new and improved me. Well...I have been eating a lot healthier, that's a start! Maybe I'm sounding negative about my move, when in actual fact, I'm really excited. I'm the kind of person that likes their own company, and enjoys being up against a challenge.
Last year, I felt a tad too secure, as I was living with another English girl. This year, i'm all alone, which makes me feel empowered and confident.
So far so good in Beijing, I've been here two weeks, and haven't yet scratched the surface of the city. I've sampled the most famous Beijing duck in the city, i've tasted the cocktails of just 2 or 3 of the trendy bars and clubs and I've familiarised myself with the nearest supermarkets, Starbucks (merely as a landmark!) and Toni and Guy.
However, I still need to locate the nearest tube station and buy myself a beijing sim card, lack of them has left me feeling cut off from the rest of Beijing.
This isn't my first time in Beijing, I visited here 5 or 6 times last year, mainly to escape Shanghai and party! So I've seen most of the sights; Tiananmen Square three or four times, The Forbidden City twice, The Great Wall three times, the Summer Palace once.
Although I have managed to tick the boxes of the some of the main tourist attractions, there are plenty of places I'm yet to visit that take a little more effort to find than jumping aboard the next tourist bus.
Whereas Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city, fabulous for shopping and bar-hopping, with beautiful weather (sparingly) and equally beautiful people (also sparingly), Beijing is the city of art and culture. I'm excited just thinking about the world outside my window!