It’s odd to think that we’ve all already been here for three months, some days it feels like we have only just gotten off the plane and on others it’s difficult to imagine a time when we weren’t living here. Three months in and it is amazing how all of the Chinese that we have been learning is really starting to click in our minds. Now we can actually use it to communicate in our daily lives. The point at which our skills in spoken Chinese goes from single word responses to full coherent sentences is has been such a nice change. (Even if some of us are still hopeless with tones!)
November was a particularly exciting month as we had the St Andrews ball to look forward to, and I can say that it definitely didn’t disappoint. We travelled to Beijing in groups of two to four – over here just travelling is quite an adventure! The train stations in China all seem to be huge and beautifully designed. Tianjin station is really amazing, even more so because it sits right next to the river and so is surrounded by historic, spectacularly designed bridges. The bullet train means that the journey between Tianjin and Beijing only takes about 35 minutes, but still lets you appreciate the amazing Chinese scenery that you are passing through. Once you’re in Beijing it’s really easy to find a taxi (or the subway if you are particularly adventurous/skint). After spreading out to our various hotels scattered across the city we got all dolled up and then met up in the Beijing World Centre Hotel. Despite it only being November the hotel had already broken out the Christmas decorations so the whole event seemed very festive. We had an amazing meal. After stuffing ourselves full of delicious food the ceilidh band started up and we all got to practice our traditional Scottish dancing, with varying levels of expertise. We all danced until late at night, or should I say early in the morning? Some of us even made it to the survivor’s breakfast. It really was an amazing opportunity and became a night that I’m sure all of us will remember for a long time to come. A truly great way to wrap up our 3rd month in China!