|The difference of the sky on our first and second day in Beijing!!!|
See it for yourself the picture above! The above picture was taken from the airport with hazy and cloudy sky when I first reached and the below photo was taken that morning from my friend's housing complex. Photo courtesy: Hong Mei :)
She couldn't believe it as well and she posted her comment in WeChat Moments as per follow:
|My friend's post about the weather ^^|
Translation: Ten over years has passed! Finally I'm meeting my BLCU ex-schoolmate, RimaReyka from Singapore. Beijing welcomed her with a very serious hazy weather, but today it has turned into a very bright blue sky! She said, because Beijing knew that she was coming, so it changes to a blue sky! I curiously asked her, "Then yesterday, how are you going to explain?" She remarked wittily, "Because I plan to take a rest and sleep, so I didn't need a blue sky." :P Hahahaha.... Yeah, my optimism and positivity had chased the haze away and attracted the sun to shine the earth ^^
|Inside the new metro cabin at Line 15 - Beijing Metro|
We had breakfast at her house and at 10 am we left. She dropped us to the nearest metro station - ShunYi station, which took us about fifteen to twenty minutes to reach. From there, we took metro and changed once towards WuDaoKou station. To my horror, OMG, the whole journey took us two hours to reach!!! Check out the metro map here so you can get the picture about the connection and distance.
Beijing city was too big! There were total of 15 metro lines plus 4 extension lines in total so far. From ShunYi station to WangJingXi station itself (the point that connected us to city area) took 45 mins to reach, not yet changing the lines (with long walking distance and waiting time) and to reach other destination. From my friend's house to city I needed at least 1.5 to 2 hours average to reach. So one day, we required at least 3 hours and more transport time to go and back home. Well, at least now, we could take metro, which was still rather fast and convenient compared with taking public bus or cheaper than taking a cab.
|Drastic change of Wu Dao Kou|
Once coming out, I was awed with my surrounding! The last time I visited my school was in 2001. Within 14 years, it had changed tremendously!!! The whole stretch of metro station there, it used to be the market complex where I used to shop all my food ingredients and other necessities. There used to be whole stretch of Korean and other restaurants too where I sometimes had my lunch or dinner there.
|BLCU map located near the South gate|
I couldn't recognise the place until I had to ask people for direction. Slowly we walked towards south gate then west gate entrance (in China it's common to say the place using north, south, east, and west direction). Oh, when walking towards west gate, I saw many motorised carts stopping at the side of the road. Parcels range in size were put on the roadside waiting for the owners to collect (online shopping was taking over the usual shopping means in China with more varieties of goods available, faster shipping time, and most importantly - very convenient as you didn't have to squeeze with the crowds and avoid bargaining with owners who might open a very high price at the first place. Of course, the quality and size of the goods received might not be the same as what you'd seen in the pictures). This was one of few changes that I noticed.
|Common kitchen and washing area plus student's room|
There were more dormitories built to accommodate the fluctuated number of local and oversea students. The electronic key cards were also used for the dormitory entrance and when pressing the lift to the floor you were staying. Cameras were seen in every corner of the buildings and lifts to ensure the security of the people who lived there. Common kitchen, washing machines and dryers were now found in each floor of the dormitory's building. Unlike before, where we would secretly cook inside our room and wash clothes mostly with hands.
|Transport used nowadays|
Students were no longer riding the conventional bicycle. It had been now replaced with a chic, stylo, soundless, electronic scooter, just like what you saw at the above photo. The battery charging points were also provided at the dormitories so they didn't have to illegally charging inside the room nor they had to carry it all the way up. How life there now was so much easy, convenient and spoiled with choices!
|My class building|
Many school's buildings remained the same. I visited my previous class building and it was with no changes except that they now used projector when teaching and most teachers stayed oversea before for few years before coming back here to teach (most of them were capable in English, unlike before where my own teachers were only fluent in their own language and no oversea stay experience).
What surprised me again was that the school invested a lot of money to build this giant canteen consisting of 3 floors for common share food stalls and 2 floors for mostly independent restaurants (Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian food) plus one luxury Café with plush sofa, European lighting and decor, and free WiFi. It's packed with students but of course, it came with a high price. Their coffee price was comparable with Starbucks price or sometimes even higher (average cup of coffee was Rmb 30 or Sgd 6.50).
|In front of the BLCU main building|
My son and I browsed the area and I was excitingly telling my son what I used to do before when studying here. We were enjoying the place while waiting for my cousin who was studying there to finish her class. When done, three of us went for lunch. I told her I missed the Korean food there and she brought me to the one located outside, still within walking distance. According to Korean students, this was the best selling the a la carte type of food :)
|Korean food for lunch - BLCU China|
Fyi, majority students learning Chinese language there were Korean. That's why there were many Korean restaurants and shops nearby the school. Three of us enjoyed our food so much and very full. Time to have a walk and shop! ^^ This time we walked to LiuDaoKou. There was a building with many stalls inside. I bought my winter necessities there such as: gloves, shawl, boots, socks, etc. Nice buy as they offered cheaper price for regular customers and students :D After shopping, it was time to say goodbye to my cousin.
This time, from LiuDaoKou station, we didn't have to change metro line. It's under the same one line and we took only one hour to reach. Yayy!!! Hong Mei fetched us and later at night we had dinner together. It was her birthday and we had sliced lamb meat hotpot at her home :)
|Sliced lamb hot pot|
That's how the dinner looked like. The frozen slice meat was poured inside the pot, let it boiled and cooked. Lift it up using chopstick, dip it into a saucer filled with mixture of peanut paste, sesame paste, and coriander leaves, and you could put it inside your mouth. Aaaa....emm..... :P Vegetables could be added too. However, they didn't drink the stock (soup). They just used it to boil the meat and vegetables. Unlike us, we ate the food and drank the soup.
|East gate of Beijing Language and Culture University - China :)|
So that's how our second day in Beijing passed by. I was very happy being able to visit my school again. I was teenager and now I managed to bring my teenager son there. I was telling him, let's dream big that one day I'd bring you to my school in Switzerland too! Hahaha.... Yeah, one day! Let's hope and pray! ;) Oh, and if you are interested to study Chinese language in China, click here about the school information. You can even apply online :) So, good luck and all the best! ^^