Friday, January 27, 2012

Beijing 2010

A quick summary on my venture to the far east two years ago. 

What was I doing in Beijing (BJ) in 2010?
I came for a 6months Internship to teach English to preschool children in a small English language center

How did I get the internship? 
I got it through Aiesec McMaster, which is one of the many local aiesec clubs across the world. The whole process from the time that I joined to going abroad took about 3months.

Working Hours
I worked in the evenings and weekends with two days off during the week or whenever I could get them off.

Since one of the main reason why I chose China was to study the language and culture, I decided to put the 6months into good use. I signed up for an intensive course in a nearby language school which offered morning classes M-F, 2hrs/day. I studied for 4months and was able to get around on my own after 2months, rather than always calling a friend when I needed help.

Some Culture shock
TVs everywhere, in buses, taxis, subways, elevators, on buildings and so on..
I was (still am) a walking clown, with people wanting to touch my hair and just so surprised to see a black person walking around.
China is different from what you see on TV
Chinese eat with huge *wash* basins. I mean bowls i use to wash stuff are placed on dinning tables
There is NO least in BJ
BJ is soo polluted
Almost every Chinese man smokes
and so on and so forth. This is a HUGE topic, and i will be discussing this in a series of blog posts!

Names locals called me...
People calling me "black person", "African", "old foreigner", "foreigner". Other black people I met told me they've been called "black devil", "monkey" and other degrading names. While others might think of this as racism, I just think it is pure ignorance.

I ate out most of the time, so I tried lots of street food, foods from different parts of china and famous cuisines such as hot pot, barbecue kebabs, different types of hand pulled noodles and sooo much more. Again, I will be posting series of blog posts on this.

Towards the end of my stay, I decided to visit Inner Mongolia, Shanghai and Suzhou. My favourite place out of all three was Shanghai because there are more things to see and do
The world is a small place
I met people from all over the world including countries I have never heard of or that I don't know much of.

***Overall, I had a great time, met lots of people, got culturally exposed and was able to check off some tings on my checklist. However, I was still hooked, I was craving for more, so i decided to return for the second time in 2011 for Part II.***

Short video
Since pictures speak louder than words, I decided to put the video I presented to Aiesec McMaster after I returned. I prepared a narration for the video, so I appologize if some parts seem out of place or don't make sense. I haven't figured out how to add an audio clip without messing stuff up, so bear with me while I work on this skill :).



Anonymous said...

wow!! the culture shock was my favorite part of your blog. keep up the writing :) ps can u do stuff about hair care please! especially since ur in china how do you do ur hair!!
thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

hi, thanks for commenting. I was just thinking of posting something about my hair and black history while on a bus ride home today. stay tuned and keep reading!

Sylvia T said...

Just luv the fact that you are living your life and experiencing many different things, it's fun to read your stories, Adeola! You're one amazing woman, I recall way back when you asked me for a reference for your teaching overseas and I prepared a letter as best I could and now look at you, am soo very proud! Sylvia

Anonymous said...

aww, Thanks so much Sylvia. I'm happy I can make you proud :)