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Day 3 and 4

So, my first weekend in Beijing.  Not going how I planned, but what can you do.  I was hoping to check out the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square yesterday, but couldn’t figure out how to buy a subway ticket.  I figured out where i needed to go, which stops I had to take and which trains to switch to, but the stupid machine wouldn’t take my money.  The ticket was supposed to cost 2 yuan, and i had a bunch of singles and then a 100.  It wouldn’t take any of my singles and I wasn’t about to stick a 100 in there, just in case the machine decided to keep it.  So I turned around and grabbed lunch and headed back to the hotel.  The bed here is quite possibly the worst thing i have ever slept on, so even thought i’m getting lots of sleep, its not restful or helpful at all. I spent the afternoon lounging around, reading, and watching movies. I hate the feeling of not being able to communicate with people here, and it is really getting to me. There’s no one to blame for this but myself, but I wish people I spoke to before coming here hadn’t assured me that “everyone understands english.”

  I’m hoping that Monday and the rest of the week goes better, and I think it will.  Having something to do all day where there’s at least one person that does understand English is far less stressful.  Also having actual work to do helps as well.  On Monday I’m meeting up with a fellow Mainer who also works here at the Greenpeace office.  A former classmate from my Spanish days at UMaine messaged us both to let each other know about the other one, and I’ve been talking with her a little bit.  I think I might rent her room when she leaves in mid-June, and her room is actually the same one that the other VLS student (who did this internship last fall) rented while she was here.  Hopefully I can find somewhere to stay until then, but if nothing else turns up my boss offered her apartment for me.  Anyway, I’m meeting up with this girl on Monday for lunch or at least to chat, and find out more about this.  THen on Tuesday after work, my boss and I are going to this Public Interest happy hour at a bar not too far from the office.  Someone else from VLS, who works in the US-China Partnership, let us know about this and he will be there too, so hopefully I can talk to him and get his take on Beijing and life here. 

  Anyway, more about all of that when it actually happens.  Today I’m probably going to do more of what I did yesterday: nothing.  Every time I try to go out I get super overwhelmed and frustrated because I can’t communicate, so I think at this point its best to stay away from people so I don’t freak out on them… not that they would understand why I’m freaking out, but better safe than sorry. I’m really ready to be settled into a routine here, and I’m really hoping this renting works out like I have planned, I’d much rather live with someone than live alone. At least here anyway. 

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