Hello, Doggy! Beijing- Week 7

Wow, only two more weeks left. The past few weeks have really flown by- far quicker than how it felt at the beginning of the summer. It’s funny how time works. When I first got here, I felt uncertain, lonely, and overwhelmed. That’s probably a given when arriving in a brand new country, not knowing anyone, and not knowing the language. The first week felt like an eternity; despite my excitement for the whole experience, self-doubt fueled a lot of my thoughts. Could I really make it the whole summer? The answer, of course, is yes- and I’m gonna miss it, too.

But it isn’t over yet! Let’s review the past week.

I was assigned an exciting new video project! With the opening of our new taproom in the hutongs, my boss wanted me to shoot a promotional video showcasing the fun local sights around the area. Sarah, my fellow intern, and I went and rolled around in my egg car and captured fun moments. Old shirtless men sleeping, a young boy playing with an airplane, a hutong dog rummaging about, etc. I’m currently in the midst of editing it, it’s been a fun project.

Over the weekend, Sarah and I went to the Great Wall with my friend from the W&M Study Abroad group. It was a really unique trip- with my boss’ help, we reserved a room and spend the night in a rural village outside of a secluded section of the wall. We got homecooked Chinese food, and we were able to hike up to the wall both days. The hike was super arduous- it was barely marked, and it forced us into completely overgrown trails. On top of that, it was almost straight up the mountain, and even involved some mountain climbing. SO MUCH FUN. The view we saw when we finally made it to the top was incredible. On my first Wall trip, the weather was literally perfect. Clear, blue skies all around… I couldn’t have asked for better weather. This time, it was quite foggy- but in a good way. The section of the wall that we were at was pretty dilapidated and overgrown, so the fog gave it a mysterious and mystical aesthetic. Honestly,  I could go to the Wall every day and not get tired of it. Spending the night was also very cool- the food was good, our host was amazingly kind, and getting to be silly out in the middle of rural China with my friends was an experience I’ll never forget.

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There was another fun story that happened this week! I’m going to present it to you as I experienced it- without context. So there I was, doing my weekly day in the brewery. Today’s task was cleaning and filling 750 ml bottles of Paihuangua, our cucumber beer (it’s honestly so gross). So there I am, just dipping the final product into a wax sealant to guarantee freshness, when all of a sudden a panicked woman runs into the brewery. She says something to me in Chinese (which of course I couldn’t understand) and gives me a small furry black package. She scurried off, quick as she arrived, and I stared at what was in my hands- a tiny week old pup! He was so cute, and I was so confused- am I supposed to watch it? Did she just GIVE me this dog? Where did she go, and what did she say to me? Immediately, I call down my friends from the office to come see the dog.

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It was so cute!! Very curious, we watched as it walked around, sniffing everything, and saying hi to everyone. Truly, it was one of the best things to happen to me in China. Eventually, the Chinese lady came back, told me “谢谢” (thank you), and left with the pup. I’m still not sure who she was or why she needed me to watch it- I think she was friends with one of the brewers?- but it’s a fun story nonetheless.

One and a half weeks more! I still have to visit Summer Palace.