Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

China: Day 1, First impressions

 Nightfall in Beijing and I am already completely spoiled by the western-style hotel room I've ended up in for the night. I got in too late to open a bank account or find a cell phone, but the hotel has free internet and that's all I really need. It turns out my Chinese is good enough to get me around. Despite the fact that I almost got a C in my Chinese class last semester, the characters I actually learned are, amazingly, helping too.

 It feels so amazing to be here on my own. There is such an overwhelming sense of possibility, and promise. Perhaps this summer will also help me understand the joys and struggles of my international classmates who also took the trek cross-world to live in another country, with another language. I want to go everywhere, experience everything, be fearless. I wonder if I can do it.

I've been thanking my mother for having taken us to China before, because knowing what to expect is helping me to now navigate on my own without fear, to ask the right people for help. I am thinking also on my time in Spain and the independence I discovered there. Back then, I couldn't speak or hear Spanish worth a damn. This time, I can somewhat communicate - what a delightful feeling to understand and to be understood, and even to be on the cusp of understanding. What other experiences will I be capable of after these next three months?

Well, it's time for my daily language review. Tomorrow - Yanji, and Hunchun. Photos coming soon, too!
Tags: travel - asia
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