Honestly, before I made it to Beijing, I was a bit annoyed by hearing bad comments about Beijing. Most of my friends told me that Beijing is terrible because of pollution, overpopulated and too many old people there. Then what? Well, I’ll see with my eyes.
I am not a big fan of China, so every time people talk about China, I don’t engage with the conversation. I don’t wanna know more about it, I just don’t care like totally don’t care. Then my friend happened to visit China for the exchange program and once she was back in town she shared her experiences in China as she told me she learned a lot from China. Still, I didn’t feel motivated to go there. After that short meeting, she handed me a postcard she brought from China and told me to visit China if I have the opportunity in the future. I didn’t take it seriously as I just pinned that postcard on my wall magazine just like other postcards I received from friends who have traveled across continents. Nothing special. I still not interested to visit China after all.
A month later, I got an invitation to present my project in China. Kidding me? China? Like really? How could it be possible? My feeling was mixed but then WHY NOT! So yeah, I flew to Beijing alone as my school paid for me. Guess, winter was just fine there. No pollution at all. How about overpopulated? It was just fine. It’s just a typical capital city which is always busy. Not only Beijing. Every big ,city in the world.
I still remember once I touched down the airport, I struggled to communicate. No one spoke English. I couldn’t even open Google to see the direction and find the information how to leave the airport. That was insane. literally no staff spoke English. Not a single word. Everybody spoke Chinese to me. Dude, if I could speak Chinese I would not ask you in English. I almost cried since I needed to be in the venue as soon as possible while I had no idea how to get there because of the language barrier. How about the maps? Good question. Man, it was in Chinese. You can imagine how stressful it was. I even tried so hard to use my body language to communicate to a lady behind the information desk trying to make her understand that I needed HELP! But still the same, she didn’t stop speaking Chinese while yelling at me. Fortunately, an American girl saw me struggled so she came approaching me and helped me out to get my destination.
On the way to the venue, I just realized that all the social media in China was blocked. You name it all: Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Yahoo, Gmail even YouTube. Kidding me? So yeah I couldn’t even send an email to the committee that expected me for my conference. So I needed to installed WeChat, local social media. Stupid me. I forgot to do some research before. Well done. I learned from the mistake. I should have searched the information about traveling in Chin before I got my ass there. Anyway, was too late to complain. I was in China already.
In one day, I finished my primary business then time to explore. Beijing was nice to me. I moved a lot with subway was very cheap and convenient. I walked a lot as well. It was really a good mood. The foods were amazing as well. I met some Chinese folks. They invited me to go to the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City. One girl even hosted me and let me stayed with her for nearly one full week. We cooked Chinese food and spent a really good time together. It was super sad to leave Beijing since the weather was good when I was then. But then, I needed to get back to reality. So, see you again. Hopefully next time I come, either I speak Chinese or you guys speak English.