8th Sept - It's all gone! When I look back, I can't even remember how I planned to spend the summer. Did I want to see the sea? Was I planning anything particular? And suddenly it's over. Looking at our pure blue European sky, I can't believe I managed my unexpected trip to China, which once again changed everything! My Chinese journey no.3 is accomplished and I can tell you, if I didn't spend all vacation days for this year, it wouldn't be the last one.
Pure blue sky, 36°C and smell of adventure in the air. I didn't even feel I'm in Beijing. Invasion of people in orange shirts, from 96 different countries, with different colors of skin, eyes and stories behind. How come, that once again I appeared in such amazing multicultural event? Well, I've got chance to compete my Chinese skills in international round of Chinese Bridge - one of the most hilarious and mysterious competition for foreign learners of Chinese language. And the story? Oh, you know, after long Journal Entry nap I think the writing spirit to share stories of my Chinese life is lost....
As always, meet in the lobby, have some talks, walks, tour de mystery of Chinese cuisine and some hard time of partying. Now you think, that's how we represented our countries, drinking through nights and do crazy stuff? Not at all. Hard work started in the moment we stepped in the hotel. I didn't even have time to check in and turn the wifi on (needless to say, it was not working properly anyway..), I was already writing some memorial first feelings in the book, interview and photo shooting, oh those endless Chinese photo shootings. You suddenly feel like... foreigner!
So they told us to wear our national cloths and smile whole afternoon. Food was awesome! Maybe really cause of taste or because I literally escaped from my working life. All that madness stopped and I had finally time to enjoy the moment. Well, for five minutes. Then we had to quickly go somewhere and in most cases it ended with photo shooting. Or video shooting! They made us shout some slogans, visit places most of us already seen and smile to the camera.
Changsha city welcomed us with another hotel, which turned out to be even less wifi-friendly, food was getting worse progressively and no plugs near sofa in lobby. So with increasing pressure from competition some bad habits came back, like snickers chocolate addiction, coffee, sleeping problems,.. I can go on. On the bright side, I've successfully stepped over my stage fright (even though some help was needed). Once again I forgot to say on the spot the most beautiful long phrases, that would make my speech not sound like I'm 5 years old child. But anyway, at the end it was not much about the language itself.
We shared the stories, smiles, took hundreds of pictures and despite all that preparation overload, jet lag and other causes of physical exhaustion, we found some time for new adventures. I found out, I'm not that afraid of flying anymore (as I thought I became recently), improved some travel habits and got the time to think.
Some good & bad coincidences met me ontheway, to make me change the course and keep me thinking about steps further. So at the end I didn't head in the middle neither to the South, but to the North. And I found the peace in the bay of Qingdao, where with long walks along the shore not only my health got better, also my thoughts got more clear. Every day became orientation and photo exercise once again. Followed by fruitful exploration of local food & coffee places (God bless starbucks and subway wifi!).
Trip finished in the place where all of this started two years ago. In the magic city, where I've done memorial walks and visits of places that somehow got under my skin, even they are still dirty as hell, same as were before. Nice walk in THE park, baozi on the street, morning haw-berry cake, lunch in the place where they like riddles and tour de epic lake spots. That's Tianjin. And the pollution on top of it, how can I not mention that..
Last two days in Beijing were quick. No time to meet all friends, but most of the missions were completed! And then just endless flight back home, to reality where I don't have time to watch the sunset.
PS: I miss sunshine from the East and roads where the cars never stop going through the night.
Listening to: Dido - Sand in my shoes
Reading: P.Coelho unfinished edition
Playing: stupid work games
Eating: too late for that
Drinking: banana milk