Can’t believe that it’s already 7 weeks ago that we arrived in Beijing! Time flies when you are moving to a new country! Everything is new, exciting, interesting. And yet Beijing already feels somehow home.
We found a nice place to live, settled in successfully, met some great people, tasted some delicious food, checked out some cool places etc. In short, we had a smooth landing and are still enjoying the adventures of “discovering” things.
It’s weird, because somehow Beijing is somehow so different from everything else I know and somehow so similar. I never expected it to be so western though. I read somewhere that the government would like Beijing to become the new, modern version of Manhattan, and that’s exactly what I had to think of when I first arrived. A modern Manhattan.
In fact, we live in a complex known as “Central Park”. Can it get any more N.Y. like? But actually, even though it has a few small green spots, it doesn’t have to do a lot with the real Central Park. Beijing has several of its own “Central Parks” though. The most famous is probably called Chaoyang Park.
But next to fancy names like Central Park, there are more obvious reasons why Beijing reminds of a modern version of Manhattan: skyscrapers and other fancy buildings all over the city, exclusive shopping malls selling every brand you can think of, countless yellow taxis, traffic jams…. and still you don’t have the feeling that you are in a city that has more inhabitants than the Netherlands. That’s because everything is set up so spaciously. Wide streets, plenty of distance between buildings, many parks, etc.
And despite all the modernization that has been going on, Beijing has also been able to keep its “traditional” flair which distinguishes it from other “western-style” cities like Hong Kong or Shanghai.
Throughout the city you can find little “hutongs”, ancient alleys with traditional low buildings and when walking through them you can imagine how Beijing 100 years ago must have looked like.
And then, of course, there is the Forbidden City, beautiful temples, the traditional cuisine etc. that make Beijing one of the most modern traditional cities I know.
I have been so busy with settling in, discovering, meeting new people and working on some new projects (I tell you later) that I totally neglected my blog. Thank you so much though for all the nice and encouraging reactions I’ve received in the last couple of weeks, they definitely motivate me to keep this blog going. And I definitely will Actually, I figured, if not more, I will at least post a picture from Beijing every couple of days. This will give you a little insight in life here and more importantly, it will help me remember this great adventure I am currently in!
Thank you again for all your interest, trust, and support and till very soon!