Having a great time in China

In my first post on Beijing, I talked about how my initial encounter with Beijing was pretty shocking but I ended it by saying that it only got better from there. Even though the first week was challenging, I had a ball of a time for the rest of my stay there. There were lots of reasons for this, but I think a lot of it had to do with my mindset. Here are some of the key reasons I had a great time:

Just do it!

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Kung fu lessons (sorry for the poor quality, it’s a screenshot from a video)

I doubt any of my friends or family (and certainly not my hubby) would describe me as adventurous. But knowing that I was only in Beijing for three months, I wanted to make the most of it. So I tried my best and threw myself into it despite the language and cultural barriers. I signed up for kung fu lessons which was great fun. I got to know a local university student who became my language partner and also gave me an insight into a local student’s lifestyle and view of the world. I also got used to life in Beijing such that I had my favourite cafés and restaurants and a daily routine that I was comfortable with. I lowered my expectations and tolerated the smelly traditional squat toilets, barely noticed the pollution and became very fit from all the walking required in Beijing. Continue reading

A trip down memory lane

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Beach in Batu Ferringhi

Last Friday, we packed our bags and headed to the airport for a long weekend in Penang, an island in Malaysia. We met my parents and sister there, and spent three days hanging out with them. Penang is my dad’s hometown and most of my uncles and cousins still live in and around Penang. It is one of the popular tourist destinations in Malaysia and is especially popular with local tourists as it’s famous for having great food. Continue reading

Rendezvous with Beijing – my first encounter

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Check out the crowds at the Forbidden City – and this was not even during the peak season!

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent three months in Beijing during autumn 2012, under the pretense of studying Chinese (Note: I’m a Malaysian Chinese, but grew up learning Malay and English). Prior to this, I’d never been to Beijing and only visited China once, around Shanghai and Hangzhou.

Even before my trip, I was already learning the hard way about how things work (or don’t work) in China. One of my key tasks was to arrange my accommodation. It was easy enough to book a nice hotel in Wangfujing, the city centre for the first few days before school starts, but when it came to trying to book accommodation on university campus, I was getting nowhere. Even though my rubbish Chinese was part of the issue, the main problem was the inefficiencies at the university. Continue reading

A touching moment

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For those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while, you would know that I’ve been struggling as a working mum for a couple of years. Yesterday evening, I got home at a reasonable hour and had dinner with my daughter, followed by half an hour of TV time. We watched her current favourite cartoon – Dumbo. For those of you who’re not familiar with this, it’s a heartwarming Disney cartoon which was released in 1941 and features an elephant with big ears who gets bullied because of this. Continue reading

2012

Sorry for the inactivity in the past few weeks, it’s just been pretty crazy at work.  To kick things off, I’ll start on a positive note.

We all have our ups and downs; certain years and times of our lives are better than others. 2012 was one of my best years, I have so many fond memories and when looking through my Facebook page, it stands out as being pretty special. I can’t believe it’s been nearly 5 years already, how time flies.  Continue reading