Yesterday the group and I said goodbye to Taigu to travel to Beijing. After spending a full week in Taigu at prospect college it was quite difficult to say goodbye. I did not realize it until I left, but we had it really good there. We were developing friendships and beginning to recognize and come to know many different students just in time to say goodbye. I am grateful for the love and kindness I received at Taigu, a kind of love and kindness that feels non-existent in Beijing. While having to say goodbye to my new Irish friends yesterday was already terribly difficult, we then arrived in one of the biggest cities in the world as nothing more than tourists that people want to take advantage of. I spent my time I’m Beijing yesterday and today being harassed for money in two bars, two taxis that refuse to display their meter, and countless street corners. In fact, someone has already tried to sell me drugs, and another prostitutes.
I loved the part of this adventure that included making friendships and building my language comprehension along side other students, however, it is sad to see that end. I believe this is so in large part because this summer in China is my very last semester in college and leaving Taigu and entering the coldness of Beijing functioned as a metaphor for the feeling of isolation often experienced after finishing school. I have three full more days here, all chalk full of site-seeing before I head home on the 16th. While site-seeing is not my biggest interest, tomorrow will include 熊猫(pandas) and 长城 (the Great Wall) which are both quite unique experiences.
My WeChat account had about 8 friends before China and it now contains over 30 so I will hopefully maintain some strong relationships and Chinese language moving forward outside of school. I would even love to have any of them spend some time at my home if they come to the U.S. which I know a few are.