I am officially back in Canada as of late last night! Because of a slight delay in my flight from Beijing to Toronto, I missed my tight connection to Montreal but eventually made it home, only a few hours later than initially planned. It felt great to be able to actually understand the airport direction signs, and not have to guess whether I was going in the right direction, as I did almost every day in China. I say this now, but I’m certain that I will grow to miss my moments of hesitation as I would stand in front of signs pointing in different directions that, to me, could very well have been saying the same thing. I initially dreaded these seconds and sometimes minutes of uncertainty, however I’ve become aware that every moment of confusion was a part of the whole experience, one that I’ll never forget.
The past three days in Beijing, which happen to be my last three days in China, have been filled with a combination of walking, tourism, research, degustation, meeting new people, and melancholy. The latter can be explained by the simple fact that I am nearing the end of my time in this country. However, I’ve been trying not to think about that and instead focus on having the best few days possible. Once you finish reading the summary of my days, you’ll probably agree with me that I’ve succeeded in doing so.
The area that I’m staying in is absolutely amazing, and I’ve been able to fully immerse myself in the city. It’s called the Dashilan District and I’m happy to report that I got approval from my tour guide about my choice of location, as he said it’s “not touristy at all. Very Chinese culture.” I could spend hours strolling around the streets surrounding my hostel, and in fact have done just so. Below are some helpers to help you picture the quaint neighborhood I’m staying in, including pictures of Qianmen street, a famous pedestrian street in Beijing.