It has been 10 days since I arrived in Beijing. Although I had been here for 7 years before came to Canada, it still took me some time to get used to life in Beijing. Weather, food, language, traffic could become problems for most new-comers. Moreover, in mainland China, we can’t get access to social media such as FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube, instead, there are QQ, Q-Zone, and Pengyou Net which are quite popular here.
Winter in Beijing is similar to that in Toronto, cold and dry weather could last from November to next March, and wearing hats, gloves and scarves is highly recommended here. During the first few days I got to Beijing, the air condition reached the worst in the year, so I had to wear a mask when travelling outdoors. After the light snow yesterday, the air turned clearer and fresher again. (Those are my outdoor outfits.)
One of the good parts to be in the capital is that in Beijing, we have a collection of gourmets all over China. Therefore, you can eat Chinese style sauerkraut from the northeast, lamb kebab from the northwest, noodles cooked in different ways from central China, fresh fish and shrimp from the coastal area, not to mention those various kinds of snacks. Rice, noodles and steamed buns made of flour are the main food in Beijing. Compared to Toronto, meals and dishes are saltier here in Beijing, so every time after eating out, I’ll have plenty of water. (That food looks nice and taste nicer.)
Again, Beijing is a metropolis, so it is very common to see people from different countries speaking different languages. Mandarin is used in everyday life in Beijing. However, there are different dialects as well. Therefore, it’s not strange to hear a local-looked person speaking Mandarin with accent nd a foreign-looked person speaking fluent Mandarin. For new-comers who don’t speak Mandarin, it’s highly recommended to learn some very basic words such as “hello” and “thank you”. And don’t be panic if you can’t speak Mandarin, most people aged under 30 can speak some English because English courses are compulsory in high school in China. Moreover, the local people are very friendly and they are very glad to offer you help.
Traffic in Beijing is my major concern, even though I have my driver’s license in China, I still can’t drive in Beijing. It seems that cars and people are everywhere here and makes the city very crowded. During peak hours, it could be very slow if you use ground transportation. Therefore, Beijing has this complicated but efficient underground subway system. Just see the difference by putting two maps together.
During this trip back to China, I’ll be mainly in charge of building up an alumni networks for Centennial College. For alumni of Centennial College, please contact me by QQ:2361731172, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us at http://www.pengyou.com/centennialalumni.
Thank you for your concern and I will post more interesting experiences and stories later!