It’s been a little more than a year since I moved to Beijing now, and about a year since I started writing this blog. It’s been a pretty memorable year. Leaving awesome Glasgow, moving to a new country. Experiencing a different culture, trying to understand that culture. working on some cool movies, working on some less cool movies. Hearing a new language, trying to le… never mind.
It’s not too often I reflect on how fortunate I am to be working in such a global industry, that allows me to explore the world and do interesting work at the same time. Writing this blog has widened my perspective a little bit and made me more appreciative of where I’m at and what I’m doing.
In the last few months since my last post it’s gone from summer to winter in Beijing. I will try to take you through some of the highlights. In July my department at work went on a weekend trip to Beidaihe, a beach resort east of Beijing. Stian, Fei and I were supposed to take a train there on Saturday morning, but after a terrible couple of hours picking up tickets and standing in line at a overcrowded train station we finally missed the train. I think it was for the better. Judging by how terrible the train station was, the train would probably have been worse. Ultimately we ended up taking an Uber all the way there!
The first thing we noticed in Beidaihe was that it had a very strong Russian presence. Signs and street names were written in cyrillic characters as well as Chinese. Also the hotel we stayed at was Russian. As far as what you would expect from a beach resort, this place is easily the worst I’ve ever been to. Not only was the air polluted. The water was overflowing with trash and was probably not particularly healthy to swim in. Nonetheless I took a swim. My colleagues got rather worried when Stian and I started to swim, and urged us to come back to the safe shallow waters. Turns out that the majority of young chinese people does not know how to swim.
The trip to Beidaihe is the first and only time I’ve been swimming since I got to Beijing, I really hope wherever I swim next will be better!
So ever since I got here i’ve been considering getting myself a bicycle, but having to deal with being a part of the Beijing traffic, worrying over it getting stolen etc. has held me back. Recently that changed though when I started seeing this small bikes with fluorescent orange wheels everywhere:
That’s a Mobike. Mobike is an alternative to the typical city bikes you can rent in most big cities around the world. What makes Mobike cool though, is that it’s GPS enabled, has a built in electronic lock and pairs with an app on your phone. This means you can find a bike near you using the app, reserve it and then when you get to it, unlock it by scanning a QR code. It works really well! You can find and park them wherever, and you can pretty much always get one when you need one. It’s cheap too. 0.5 yuan per half hour! I hope this concept spreads to other cities too!
In September I finally visited the great wall. Stian’s parents were visiting him, so I took the opportunity to tag along when they were going to the wall. All though very crowded it was very nice. The wall snaking around the mountainous landscape makes a beautiful scenery.
I think that’s it for now. I’ve booked plane tickets back to Norway in December, and I’m really looking forward to spending Christmas back home with friends and family, after missing out last year. I’m planning on writing one more blog post before that, so stay tuned.
As usual, I will end the post with a bunch of photos: