First few weeks as a laowai
I have utterly failed in terms of my blog-revival challenge. After the enthusiastic start I stopped posting somewhere in mid-August. The reason: moving to Beijing.
I said goodbye to Macedonia in the best possible way. Couple of days before my departure, I had my book on the Greco-Macedonian symbolic conflict promoted in Skopje. You can see pictures and the video of the event.
And then China. Third time a visitor, but the first time I am in Beijing and the first time I’m staying long-term.
During my first days here I lived as a tourist, enjoying the comfort of a very cozy hutong hostel in Dongcheng. I climbed the Great Wall, went to the Forbidden City and the Old Summer Palace but also to some less historic yet nice areas, bought a cheap Kindle knock-off [which works perfectly fine] and successfully got over my culture shocks.
Nonetheless, that seems a long time ago now.
For couple of weeks now I am a full-time student, doing a graduate program in Contemporary China Studies at the Renmin University of China. Work is intensive, but fulfilling. Mandarin is the hardest language on Earth, especially for beginners like me, but I guess Beijing is the best place to learn it.
All in all, Beijing has been great so far [except the miasma we are breathing]. Being here and being a student helps me enter a state of “mental and spiritual cultivation,” “longitudinal tranquility” and “outward benevolence” [using epic Chinese phrases/translations]. I feel inspired and have already planned to write several blog entries on my experience, on China and on politics and society in general, yet the lack of free time prevented me from doing so. You can follow my Twitter account for more frequent updates, yet, hopefully I will get back on track with posting here soon.