Beijing – 1.5 Week Review

Okay. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, why the hell does my throat hurt – it’s almost the same feeling as you get when you know you’re coming down with something and getting sick. I started to think, was this from turning the AC on and off while I sleep. Is this from me sweating in the middle of the night and then catching a cold? Is this from the very minimal stuff I touch in public (like doors, subway handles, etc)? I quickly check my phone – it was 4 am. Christ Almighty. It’s early.

I remember seeing the night before that the Air Quality Index (AQI) was getting bad. And I’ve concluded that it was that. You want to know how bad it is? As of today, Wed. Sept 14, it has been ranging from 180 – 190 (very unhealthy).

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According to Wikipedia:

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This is actually messed up. I am 100% healthy and I feel like I’m having respiratory problems. Apparently it gets worse in the winter. I’ll take a picture of the pollution from my room because you can actually see it (it’s gross).

Thank god my new friend Annie studying at Sinology Institute bought some and shared one of her masks with me. screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-7-54-53-pm

Everyday, Annie and I have been sharing our ridiculous China woes after being here for a few weeks. It’s just a bit difficult for a foreigner to get shit done on your own but we manage to do it…  We’ve also concluded that foreigners who stay in China for a bit too long become a little bit weird, in which, we diagnose it as “Too Much China” aka TMC for short.

My friends often ask, how’s China?! Oh let me tell you…

  • Yesterday, I was at the market near my school trying to buy some fruits. (It’s ridiculously expensive.) I ask, 多少钱? (How much?) for 2 bananas + 2 oranges. He looks at me and Annie (who is around the corner. He responds: 40Y (aka $8CAD). ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS. Scam artist. I said I wanted only 1 orange and he looked displeased and finally said it was 8Y ($1.6 CAD) which is normal. After the transaction, he goes, 哪国人? 哪国人?!(What’s your nationality?)  Nice try bud.
  • Annie is from San Francisco and has had all sorts of trouble at where she’s staying far out from the city centre. She’s doing her MBA at Peking University, crunched some numbers and decided it was cheaper to stay in a hotel than at a rented apartment (since she’s white, they’ll charge her more). She’s been having stomach problems, the pollution is affecting her 100x worse than me and her place doesnt have a hot plate or washing facilities! She’s been hilarious because she drinks an expensive ass coffee from 7/11 cause she’s always so damn tired (I think from the stomach problems and pollution). Plus, she knows zero Chinese so everyday transactions become so much harder. Her latest adventures include her trying to tell the Front Desk people that the treadmill was broken and asking when it’ll be fixed. It was a cluster f–k but she’s a real champ.

 

I’m tired. Maybe it’s from studying too much Chinese characters, maybe its from the pollution, maybe its from apparently getting a full time job with the school teaching English but I think I’m just going to stream Narcos in bed for the next few hours and snooze hard. No school tomorrow due to the Mid Autumn Festival. Yeehaw!

 

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