Returning to Beijing

Trip Start Feb 27, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Thursday, September 5, 2013

After spending five weeks back home in the comfort of Australian life, I have returned to Beijing for Part II of my adventure.
I had a really fantastic time back home.  It was amazing to see my sisters, my parents and my friends after such a long time of communicating through dodgy internet connections, emails, and this blog.
My first couple of weeks back home were surprisingly a little difficult to adjust back to Australian life.  I missed the independence that I loved in China, and the ease of living in a city.  I loved that here, I can walk a coupe of kilometers and have access to basically anything I need.  At the end of the street, there is a shopping center, lots of restaurants, night spots, karaoke bars, and the subway station which makes it easy to get anywhere else.  Living in Berwick again, which is much quieter, felt strange at first; the noisy road works I used to wake up to was replaced by birds.  The first time I jumped in my car again to drive down to Safeway was actually a little daunting, as I reacquainted myself with driving on the left, and getting used to the new roundabout just outside my street that is a new addition since I have been gone.
Life at home also had many new additions since I had been away.  So many times I went into a cupboard or drawer to find something, only to discover that things had been rearranged, and utensils and clothes had 'new homes' in other places in the house.  A big change was also that Dad daily makes bread.  I honestly thought that was a joke, until he excitedly showed me how his breadmaker lets us watch the bread being mixed and rising through a peep hole.
Through all the changes since I had been away, important things thankfully stayed the same, and I realized how much I had missed everyone back home.  From going to footy, and having our production line of hotdog making in the row of the MCG, to movie nights in, it was these family times that I loved the most.  I also loved the ability to go for a walk around the block without breathing in pollution and having smooth pavements.  I also appreciated the Darryl Kerrigan 'serenity', which is non-existent here in China.
I was lucky enough to be able to spend my birthday back home, a couple of days before I returned to China. I went to the Langham restaurant with a few friends and spent the night eating and eating and eating.  It was one of the best nights I'd had being home, and I was so thankful to be able to have so many of my closest friends in the same room before I left. 

The flight back to China was quite uneventful, apart from the fact that I had to make an international connection through Sydney instead of flying directly to Hong Kong like I had originally planned.  This meant I had to wake up 3 hours earlier, at 3:30am, which made the entire journey much longer and more exhausting.  There is something quite empowering about travelling solo, as it feels good to be able to navigate through airports, security and finding the new terminals and connections by yourself.  On the other hand, however, it is also quite lonely.  It is sleeping awkwardly so as not to rest on your neighbor, and squeezing hand luggage into toilet cubicles because there is no one else there to watch it for you.
I was relieved when after nearly 20 hours of travelling (including the time spent in Sydney and Hong Kong airports), I had finally arrived in Beijing.  I was elated to be greeted at the airport by my classmate and new roommate Pia, and by my close friend Vesliana. Vesliana's boyfriend Jing Jing was also patiently waiting for me for nearly 2 hours so that he could drive me home.  Not having to wait in the taxi queue or manage my bags on the subway was the best surprise, but also a huge relief.  I was so happy that in my first minute of arriving back in Beijing, I had felt so welcomed and so blessed to have such great friends who would go to that effort for me.

My first few days back have been good, though, like in my first weeks back home, a little difficult to adjust back.  Adjusting to things like sleeping in a hard single bed, and being surrounded by people all the time, is a little overwhelming after becoming so settled and comfortable back home. I have heard that when you do get too comfortable, it is time to move again, so I am back in the craziness that is Beijing.  I have met up with Ian and Emily again, and participated in a bar quiz with them, in which we came last by a long shot, but was still so much fun. I have met up with some old classmates for lunch, which was really nice to catch up.
 This semester I am living with Pia, with a friend, Anna across the hall, and Vesliana and another friend Taylor living together two doors down.  I am excited for this semester to further improve my Chinese, for meeting new people, and for exploring new places.  I can't wait for it all to properly get started!
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Joan Jay on

Lovely blog Amy. Glad you made it back to China safe and sound and that you are happy with the new sleeping arrangements. What nice people there to pick you up. Have a great nanna

kovacsfamily on

Still love reading your blogs. Good luck this semester. You are blessed with an amazing opportunity.

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