I've been meaning to write a post about Beijing since the day I created this blog. I mean, it's only fitting as it is where I live and have spent some of the most defining moments of my life. But I found it quite hard to start writing it, I mean there's just so many ways to go. Do I write about my experiences and memories? The people? A guide? Do I talk about the climate and pollution, the food, the culture, the expats, and how do I best approach it? It's a tough ordeal trying to define Beijing.
Because Beijing is truly special, and I consider myself a fairly well traveled person but no place comes close to the city I've been calling home for the past four years. In an area that contains around 25 million people, which is constantly expanding and changing, it's hard to really find a common pulse. Something that is a given and a constant and that I can truly label "Beijing". On the one hand there is the amazing architecture, both new and old, which continuously baffles someone who is from a city with almost no building taller than 6 floors. Then there is the food, which can come from all parts of China and be so incredibly different due to the sheer magnitude of this country. And of course, there is the people who range from your best friend whilst selling you some jianbing or the rudest person you have ever met whilst cuing in the line for the public bathroom.
There is a sense of need for conservatism in the country, which has clashed with the newly born need for freedom and exploration. You have the businessmen and women walking around in their suits constantly with their phones in hand but also the artists with their cameras close by ready to take a shot of whatever event is going on at the moment (and there is always something going on in this city). And somehow they work in perfect harmony.
I think what's most important to mention is the opportunity. You can go out for a coffee and go home with three new job offers and a lot of new friends. Each weekend feels like a mixture of a party and a business meeting wrapped into one. And that's coming from a 17 year old.
This post has no real direction or intention, but I just wanted to mention some of the things that are nice to think about when considering Beijing. Of course there is so much more to consider than what I've written above, but one thing can be said for sure about Beijing - it's just as hot and cold and upside down as what I've just written and that is why you either fall in love or run for the hills.