‘Clearly, then, the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo’ – Desmond Morns.
I have been living in Beijing for three months now and whilst it is very much still a new place for me, I have also become very familiar with it. I have a local bar I visit on a weekly basis, I know where to find the best pizza and buffalo wings (wings Wednesday at Plan B – a regular occurance, particularly with Josh’s love for chicken). Now that my boyfriend has finally arrived and settled in, I too have quickly become more comfortable and at home.It comes of no surprise that it has taken me three months to become officially settled. China is like marmite and many foreigners struggle to become accustomed to its weird and wonderful ways. Beijing is one of the biggest cities in the world. It is teaming with people; only the other day Josh and I found ourselves crushed on the subway like sardines for an hour of what should have been a half hour trip. The city is a domination of brick, concrete and glass. Any glimpse of nature is rare and if present, minimalisitic. The vehicles consistently beep their horns, even when clearly in traffic that is unable to move. Queues last for miles and road workers frequently complete their jobs late at night. It is a massive, bright, loud, bustling, crazy city. I appreciate s city however would have described myself as more of a London girl than a Beijing girl. London at least offers semi-polite people – the Chinese simply have no concept of waiting in a line – clean air and lush parks. There are occasions where you feel like you can never have a quiet moment to yourself in Beijing. The traffic and horns can easily be heard even locked in your room on the twenty-fifth floor. However since moving here I have fallen in love with Beijing through and through and – for the time being at least – cannot imagine myself anywhere else. There is so many opportunities to meet new people and try new things, I have never been so busy with such a variety of social events. For instance, in a week I will be going to a bridal shower consisting of afternoon tea. The words ‘afternoon tea’ and ‘China’ are certainly not ones I would put together so I am interested to see what their idea of the British luxury is. It is as if these perks drown out the noise of the city. ‘Only in Beijing’ is a common phrase used for this city. But that is exactly why I love it!