Victory is near! I’m getting on a plane to Beijing in less than three weeks. I’ve got my visa but I haven’t looked for a place to live yet, which is a source of concern for my mother and a source of excitement for myself. The plan is to stay at a hotel the first night and then try to find something. I’ve located BLCU on Google Maps. If you zoom out you can see that it’s to the north-west of the Forbidden City (the big rectangular structure).
There will be a entrance exam on the first day, so I’ve been studying a little in my spare time in the hope of being able to get into a non-beginners group. Part of that “studying” has been watching Chinese (Mandarin) television dramas. I’ve seen a few good Taiwanese dramas (It Started With a Kiss!), but it seems as if all the popular mainland dramas are martial arts and/or period dramas which have failed to impress me. It appears that some of the voices are dubbed which makes it all seem a bit “off” (dubbed in the same same language as the actor speaks, just like old Hong Kong movies). I wish I were German, then I wouldn’t notice. (I wonder if it’s easier for a ventriloquist to fool a German audience...)
My summer internship at Opera turned out super-awesome and I’m going to keep working part-time the whole year while I’m in Beijing. Getting experience working in China would be awesome, so I hope I’ll have a chance to spend some time at the Opera office in Beijing (although I’ll mostly be working at home, wherever that is). I discovered that Beijing is “bigger” than Linköping, so it might take a long time to get to the office by bus/subway, since it’s not in the same district as BLCU.
I’ve been doing some reading on Wikipedia and found out all sorts of useful things: There’s a chopstick tax to discourage the use of disposable chopsticks. Beijing has population of 8.5 million (Linköping: 136,000). The girl:boy birth ratio is 100:117 due to political/cultural reasons. Beijing taxis have license plates that begin with 北B. The average height of the Chinese is approximately 170 and 160 cm for men and women respectively. China holds the world record in capital punishment. Finally, you can’t see the Great Wall of China from the moon!