Soupy in the capital city of China: Beijing

BEIJING 2013

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A beautiful sunset view from my apartment on the 25th floor.

When I was accepted for an internship in Beijing for my co-op credit at Centennial College, I quickly consulted a couple friends who studied there about what to expect and how to prepare for my 3 month long visit.  Let’s just say you won’t really know until you’ve experienced things for yourself…I guess that can be a general statement as well…but everything so far has been pretty good 🙂

I’ve been here 4 weeks now and I think I have adjusted quite well, except for the first few days when my body had to get used to the 12 hour time difference!  Beijing is half a day ahead of Toronto 🙂

I brought a Mandarin Language hand book to help me with the basics of buying food and finding my way around the city.  However, I’ve resorted to lots of made-up sign language, pointing at things and poorly pronounced Mandarin words in hopes that Beijing locals would understand my wavering hand motions!  Lucky for me there are digital cash registers and calculators that display the amount I have to pay!  So a word to the wise, brush up on some basic Mandarin skills if you don’t have a personal translator following you around 24/7 😉

Please note there are some people who speak English, but very little.  However, when you’re in tourist shopping areas, that’s where you’ll hear more English than normal.  Oh my, the difficulty I had trying to set up my cell phone service.  Fortunately, the person helping me called her friend who spoke some English on the phone and assisted with the process.  Whew!

My monthly plan 132¥ (approx. $23CAD/mo):

-66¥ (approx. $11.13CAD) voice and data

  • 50 min
  • 200 texts (I get lots of promo texts
  • 300 Mb (eeeeks good thing I have wifi at the apt and at work)

-60¥ (approx. $10.12CAD) for bbm service

-6¥ (approx. $1.01CAD) wifi hot spot service

Beijing Subway

I take the subway to work, only 3 stops, takes me about 25 min. including the short walk from the station.  The subway is pretty cool.  It has many lines that practically cover the whole city with buses and “street buses”!  Yup!

Image(Not a street car, not a bus but a ‘street bus’!)

Now the only issue is how insane it gets during rush hour.  The subway is more action-packed than all three movies combined!  (Horrible joke…I know…lol) But just imagine Toronto subway during rush hour times 10.  Some stops are worse than others but people are pressed up against each other like oreo cookies!  There’s definitely some shoving and pushing going on and there’s not much I can really do but follow what everyone else does lol.  Luckily, trains come frequently and without any major delays.

A round trip on the subway is 4¥ (approx. $ 0.70CAD) and buses are 1¥ (approx. $0.17CAD).  Another cool thing is cellphone service underground!  But I believe it’s only for 4G phone users (which I’m not L).  The first time I heard someone answer their phone in the subway train I was astonished!  For all the Toronto subway users, you know what I’m talking about lol.

Check out the subway lines:

http://www.explorebj.com/subway/

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My prepaid subway pass.  No cash or change used unless its putting credit on the card or you can buy single passes.

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Jinsong subway station on line 10 right outside my apartment, how convenient!

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Entrance to Jinsong Subway Station

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The stations are huge, lots of walking required to get underground, hence the long escalator ride.

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A busy transfer station to another subway line, also a lot of walking required.

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I can’t remember what station this is but some stations have exterior guard doors, and lots of advertising!

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Tian’anmen Station where you get off to visit their famous Square and the Forbidden City, pics and more info to come!

Other things I though were really cool…lol

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 Tennis ball gum!  Delicious!

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If I brought these on the airplane would it be considered a weapon?!

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A talented wax sculptor making a cartoon figure of a person live!  Amazing…I totally have to get one done of myself!

Well that’s all for now folks.  Thanks for taking the time to share my journey in Beijing.  I am grateful for this experience and will cherish these memories forever 🙂  Thank you Centennial College!  Stay tuned for more…

Soupy

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