Back to Beijing
Back to Reality. Back to the 50-vocab words-per-night agenda. Back to the grindstone.
All cliches aside, I set to really study as much as I could. I feel that I really want to retain as much Chinese as possible, and in order to do that I should really immerse myself into the language pledge, study hard, and most importantly, have fun. That first week back, I went to a local park (the same park as my earlier post “That Time I Wanted to Be a Senior Citizen”) and realized that Beijing had changed! The flowers were blooming and the sun was out! My friends and I found a small grassy spot to sit in and take in the scenery while we did our homework.
A week later, I climbed the Fragrant Hills/Xiangshan Hills, which are near Beijing. Don’t be fooled by the word “Hill”: it was a mountain! Also, our group guide led us to one of the most difficult areas to climb, so when we got to the top, we were all sweating bullets (but saw other patrons who seemed to have taken another easier route…I saw one girl wearing high heels!) After we got to the top, we walked down to a rest area and picked up trash. There was a TON of trash, and we filled about 20 large black trash bags! Our group consisted of CET students as well as other Beijingers who really liked hiking/conserving the environment. I talked to some of them and asked them questions pertaining to their perspective of study-abroad students as well as their perspective on living in Beijing. When we got to the bottom of the mountain, I realized that we were in the Fragrant Hills Park!