Before I left Seattle, I made a list of things I thought I would miss and not miss about the city, so now it’s time for the same list about Beijing.
Things I will miss about Beijing
- My friends.
- The food, both in quality and price. And it’s cool you can have roast duck without planning ahead.
- The ancient culture that is never far away.
- Ease of transportation. Between my bicycle, the subway, and buses, getting around is generally quite convenient, even with the ridiculous traffic.
- The chance to practice speaking Chinese with native speakers every day.
- How amazing it can look after a good rain.
- The sense of freedom you have when you don’t have to worry about crime.
- How cheap things are if you’re looking for cheap things.
- Having someone come clean the apartment twice a week.
- The challenge of trying to think of ways to explain English words and expressions.
- The vibrant music scene and all the great bands here, plus the ones I haven’t discovered yet.
Things I will not miss about Beijing
- The quality of the air, and I’m not just talking about the odd odors that sneak in occasionally when the breeze changes direction.
- The bone-chilling winter temperatures.
- The energy-sapping summer temperatures.
- The Great Fire Wall.
- The ridiculous traffic.
- Office politics.
- The hideous desk my landlord provided for my computer.
- The hassle it can often be to deal with seemingly simple things like electricity, mobile phones and internet.
- Having to register with the local police station so they know where I am.
- The feelings I have on the occasions when I do think about politics.
- Never really understanding what’s going on, even when I think I do. Not that this is necessarily different from the situation in the US...
In a very unusual bit of luck, I have never really experienced one of the famous Beijing spring sandstorms, so that didn’t make either list.
I created this blog when I found out I was coming to China, and now that I’m leaving, I’m not sure what I want to do. In the interest of keeping it to its topic (not that I’ve stuck to it strictly so far!), I don’t really want to continue writing about my life as it involves things other than China. However, I still have lots of China experiences and pictures I haven’t shared, so there’s material for many posts waiting for me to have the time to take care of it.