New City, New Life: Alexander Johnstone, Beijing, China – September 2017

1) 北京是个极大的都市!
我刚到北京的最初的印象是北京是个真正的都市, 北京的规模每天会令我感到十分吃惊!因为我是在英国的郊外出生长大的, 所以我还没习惯这样的生活步调。再加上,北京的人真的太多,在我住附近的人总是川流不息。高峰时间我真的不敢坐地铁,要不然我要在地铁站排长队,地铁上太拥挤。
2) 北京是个应有尽有的城市
因为北京的人口是两万人多,有从世界各地中国各地的人般到这里,北京也是个多元化的城市。比方说,在北京,不管你喜欢吃什么,你想吃任何菜都可以。 我非常期待在这一年的时间品尝各种各样的地道中国菜,还有趁着机会去北京的画廊,展览,电影什么的。
3) 其实,北京是个美丽的城市



New City, New Life

I have been in Beijing for around 4 weeks by now. Although this period of time is still relatively short, I have already experienced so many things here! After getting through lots of admin work to set up my life here (such as finding an apartment and obtaining my residency permit) I can finally start to properly enjoy my new life in Beijing. In many different aspects Beijing has already exceeded my expectations – below are some of my impressions towards Beijing.

1) Beijing is an enormous city
My first impression of Beijing when I was arrived was that it is truly a metropolis. The scale of the city left me completed shocked! Since I grew up in the suburbs in England, I am not yet used to the pace of life here. In addition, there are really so many people in this city – in my neighbourhood there is a continuous stream of people! During rush hours, I don’t dare to take the subway, as otherwise I would have to queue outside the subway station to use it and face huge crowds once inside.

2) Beijing is a city of endless opportunities
As there are over 20 million people in Beijing, who come from all over the world and China, Beijing is a really multicultural place. For example, no matter what kind of food you like to eat, I am sure you could find it here. Over the upcoming year, I am really looking forward to trying out all sorts of authentic Chinese dishes, and making the most of this opportunity to visit different art galleries, exhibitions and film screenings.

3) Beijing is actually a really beautiful city
Before I came to Beijing I thought that it would be really ugly and that everywhere would just be identical-looking high-rise buildings. In fact, Beijing has lots of beautiful parks which means it is easy to escape the city life. Also, my campus has a really relaxed vibe and there are lots of quiet places you can go to read a book in peace.

I just started class last week, and I feel motivated to keep working to improve my Chinese and better understand the complexities of China.

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