Beijing · China · expat · teaching

Help! Send rafts!

Things are getting crazy here. For weeks Beijing was miserably hot, super smoggy, and dry, then bam! We had a little light rain earlier this week. It rained most of yesterday, which was a nice change. Then today it never stopped raining. I left my apartment at 9 this morning, couldn’t get a cab anywhere, and was soaked to the skin by the time I got to the subway. And I stayed that way until I got home tonight. Beijing is always a challenge in the rain but today was the worst I’ve ever seen it. And people, especially the girls, are such babies about getting wet. When I finally got to work this morning my students, adults, freaked out and starting patting me down with paper towels and waving their blow dryer at me. It’s nice that they care but it really made no difference because I was still wet when I left and kept getting wetter. My afternoon job is in LiDu, by the river, and the flooding there was bad. We closed school early but by the time I left I still had to wade out to the main road in water nearly up to my knee. Then I still couldn’t get a cab so I walked home in a downpour, seeing as I was already as wet as I could get. And it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow. And Friday. Fortunately I live in a 12th floor apartment…

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Speaking of apartments, I moved again a couple weeks ago, into Jess’ apartment. Her rent is cheaper than mine was and we figured if we split it we could save a lot more money for traveling. I now pay less than $300 US/month for rent. We stocked up on IKEA supplies and basically converted her living room into a second bedroom.

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With the money we saved on rent we bought new bikes. It’s really the easiest way to get around this city, especially since my school is now closer to our apartment. We went out exploring the are this weekend and found lots of cool new spots. I love this area too. It has more of a community feel, very local, street vendors all over, and easy to walk or bike to all my favorite places.

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Saturday night we went to an awesome finger-style guitar concert. The music was beautiful:

Then on the way home we stumbled across this small Chinese bar with a cool band. They had a shadow puppet show accompanying them to fit with the music. The place was small and crowded so the table we got was partially behind the stage but it turned out to be awesome because we could watch the puppeteer jumping around. He was really into it! So much fun to watch:

Other than that I’ve finished my classes for my Associates in Web Design and Interactive Media and I’m in the process of re-enrolling to complete my Bachelor’s. But for right now I’ve had a month off school and it’s been nice. I’ve been teaching a summer camp every afternoon. These guys are a lot of fun!

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Alright, I’m off to bed. Unless it’s floated away, that is…

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