There is no specific topic for this post, just a few unrelated things about my time so far in China, seeing as I have now been here for over two weeks.
I have also been asked to post some pictures, ‘no matter how trivial’, so I’ve done just that.
Firstly, I’ll admit that my first few days here were a huge shock. A mix of homesickness, culture shock, unfamiliarity, and unusual food (and the smells they come with) do not make for an inviting combination. I’m not going to lie – in the days after I arrived, my mind was consumed with thoughts of ‘Why did I choose Chinese?? Why didn’t I choose Arabic?’ and ‘How long until I can go home?’.
It sounds like a waste to be thinking like that, when there are so many new experiences to be had in such a vast country, but I was totally unprepared for what was waiting for me in Beijing.
One of my major issues was food. I ate because I knew I had to, although I didn’t feel hungry. When food arrived, I would feel nauseous just thinking about eating. I want to do a separate post on food later, but here are a couple of things that were on a menu in a Muslim restaurant.
A couple of them looked like very poor translations, I wish I’d taken more pictures that I could have posted, but I’ll bear that in mind for next time.
Just to be clear, this wasn’t the food I was eating when I arrived. I’m no way near ready to try such dishes.
Luckily, I have now moved into a flat and have a kitchen where I can cook. I’ll not mention the cockroaches that roam the cupboards, seeing as we bought ‘houses’ for them from the local store.
If I was a cockroach, I’d want to join the happy ones in the window too..
Also, as part of the long and tedious process of registration for university, this week I had the pleasure of having my Foreigner Physical Examination done, in a Healthcare Center For Aliens. Some snippets of the report as evidence of my apparent normality:
Literally, the doctor seemed to just want to check that our ears were existent: just a visual check to confirm that we had a nose, mouth, ears, a tongue and skin was sufficient.
With the excellent internet speeds to be enjoyed here, uploading pictures is a joy. However, I’m looking forward to university classes starting on Monday and hope to post about my initial reaction to Chinese education soon!
Please leave comments if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to post about, and I will try to write about it.