What I like about you (from the other side)

Only one day left until I leave Beijing, and already the apartment is getting echoey. I’ve given away a bunch of stuff, and packed other things. The movers came yesterday and took away many boxes – I’m really glad I didn’t have to do it all myself.

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.

Final note

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.

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