Final Post- Beijing (Caleb Turner)

I realize that I haven’t consistently titled these posts. I’ve definitely messed up on their numbering, too. Ah well. I’m in the midst of my final week in Beijing! The coming few days look to be really busy with finishing a video project, so I decided to go ahead and do my final post while things aren’t hectic.

Let’s see, what did I do since the last post? On Tuesday of last week, Jing-A served beer at an anniversary party for a Japanese restaurant in Sanlitun Soho, which is convenient to where I live. It was mostly foreigners, so I was able to walk around and meet new people; one of which was a videographer named Gabe, and he gave me some good tips to get quality free video editing software. Most of the parties I have been to through Jing-A have been foreigner filled, and most of the bars I’ve been to have primarily catered to foreigners. I wonder if that’s a product of Jing-A’s founders and clientele, or if there is a difference in Chinese and non-Chinese party habits. The bars I’ve been to have been recommended to me by my coworkers, so they may gravitate towards foreigner spots. The clubs I’ve been to have been the opposite, however- my friends and I are usually some of the only foreigners that I notice. Curious.IMG_4308

On Wednesday, I met up with my friend from the Study in D.C. program last summer! It was a fun coincidence; last year, she and I lived in Chinatown in the capital of the States, while this summer we lived in the capital of China. I picked her up in my Keg Egg car and treated her to Jing-A beer… It was great to catch up with her and introduce her to some of my friends.

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On Thursday, my coworkers and I all took my fellow intern, Sarah, to her final dinner in Beijing. She goes to school in Australia, so her semesters are reversed. She only had a 3 week long internship during her “winter” break. Sarah is vegetarian, and so we went to this vegetarian Chinese restaurant. It was absolutely delicious- almost makes me want to go veggie. Almost. Afterward, we went out to this Italian wine bar. It was empty except for us, and so we essentially took over the whole bar. We controlled music, got drinks flowing, and created an impromptu dance floor! The Italian guy who owned it was nice, he seemed happy to have a whole party erupt in his bar. Going home, it was about 2 am. I was driving the Keg Egg and I was waved down by three young German girls. They said they were lost and didn’t know how to get back to the club they were supposed to meet their choir director at, so I invited them in to the Egg and drove them to where they needed to go. Unfortunately, the egg apparently couldn’t take the extra weight; it broke down just outside of their destination 🙁 I wished them farewell and had to push the egg all the way back to the brewpub. It must have been a strange site to see: some blond white kid pushing this strange egg car at 2 in the morning. Ah well, I got it back to Jing-A, and walked home.

This past weekend, I did 2 Beijing site visits that I needed to see before I left: the Pearl Market, and the Summer Palace. I actually really enjoyed the Pearl Market; using my superpower (the Chinese word 不要, or Buyao) I was able to significantly barter prices down. Granted, I’m not the best gauge of quality… it could have been a bad deal regardless. But I was able to get silk (hopefully) scarves for my mom, my brother’s wife, and my girlfriend. Little bits of china for grandparents, and a poster like thing of the Great Wall for my house back in Williamsburg. Summer Palace was fun- it was a gross day, but it also wasn’t super hot. Some beautiful views abounded, and I loved being close to nature again.

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I’m looking forward to being home and relaxing again. Beijing has been super fun, and the work is great, but with a bar, the work is constant. Regular 9 hour work days, plus (typically) fun events a few nights a week, mix in social events and the scramble to see famous Beijing landmarks- I’m exhausted. I’m going to come home and crash hard. For now, however, I have 4-5 more days to live my best Beijing life.