Beijing: A few days in

I arrived in Beijing late this past Saturday, June 15th. By the time I found myself in my AirBnB apartment at 8 pm, I had been awake for over 24 hours. Turns out I’m bad at sleeping on airplanes!

This helped with the jetlag, however, as I was able to crash without much problem. My apartment is… err, different, from the advertisement. To enter the building, you have to reach your hand through a section of the door that had been cut out. Then the apartment itself has a simple code to get in. It’s a very small apartment… a tiny living room connects two small bedrooms, and there is a little space for a bathroom and a kitchen/closet/laundry room triple threat.

This is not to say I’m disappointed in the apartment, however. It is in an amazing location close to my work, and my host, Lux, is very nice. She speaks basic English, which has been very helpful. She also wants to be a film director- just like me- so we were able to talk shop and bond a bit the first night. Which, for a homesick boy who was feeling pretty lonely at the time, was a godsend. 

The next day I wasn’t able to sleep in very long, so I arose at 5 am and went and explored Beijing. I left without a plan- I just went wherever the wind took me. Turns out it took me to a few cool places- a small public park featuring the Temple of the Sun, which was a nice serene break from the city hustle-and-bustle (pic included). I found myself walking towards Tienanmen Square, but I opted to visit it on another day to get a better experience. It was raining, after all, and I had been tired from walking for hours. Instead, I went to Wangfujing Bookstore and bought an English language book. I ended up eating at McDonalds for some familiarity, a whole meal for only 26 yuan! (or, roughly $3.75!)

Monday, June 17 was my first day of work. Jing-A Brewing Co. seems very cool, and let’s be honest- who wouldn’t want to work at a microbrewery (pic included)? It seems like my internship will be super hands-on; I’ve started preproduction on 3 video projects, began brainstorming for a marketing campaign for an upcoming beer tour, and began to revamp their mug club program. I then went and did some physical labor grinding oats to be used the following day. We ended the day drinking beer and testing different formulas for one of their classics, Worker’s Pale Ale. It was a busy day- but a good one!

Today is Tuesday, June 18. I’ve spent the whole day doing manual labor, getting my hands dirty with the actual brewing. It’s a lot of work- “Brewing beer is 80% cleaning,” my boss Alex tells me- but it’s rewarding in its own way. The man who is teaching me, Giorgio, speaks almost no English, which really put my super poor Chinese to the test. We were able to communicate alright, and I did everything that was asked of me.

I’ll end this post in a bit of a reflection; I hope the rest of my stay in Beijing is less stressful. I imagine that it will be; my first few days consisted of the plane ride, getting through customs, learning everything about my new job, etc., so hopefully I’ll be able to find a groove. My cell phone data randomly stopped working today, so that’s been a huge headache that I’ll have to figure out. Other than the headaches, I’m looking forward to the rest of my summer in China.IMG_2641IMG_2694