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Gone To Beijing!

I haven’t packed anything yet, I have just found out I have a hole in my sandals and I can’t find my tweezer but everything is under control. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. But my packing, that is.

Beijing, here I come. Or rather, Toronto, Helsinki and then Beijing here I come. You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you? We are first taking the Greyhound to Toronto (no jokes please!). From Toronto, we will be flying to Helsinki, Finland and staying there for a day. We will then fly from Helsinki to Beijing. A mere two days trip (remind me to pack deo).

This week was of course extremely busy at work and I had to teach till the last minute. I had to run a lot of small errands but couldn’t find the time… so I ended up giving a test to my students yesterday morning to pop into the bank (conveniently located on Bank Street). Traveler Cheques, checked. Notice my bank I’m going to China (hint: don’t flag my credit card because you see someone using in in Beijing), checked. Deposit my latest paycheck, checked. I had never been that efficient.

I had ordered three books from Amazon.ca earlier this week and I was amazed to see they were delivered within 48 hours. Wow! I got Fractured (Karin Slaughter), Secret of a Shoe Addict (Beth Harbison) and The Third Victim (Lisa Gardner). One day I’ll tell you about my book addiction. I’m this weirdo who read a book a day…

I have been to China four times in total: twice as a summer student in 1999 and 2000, once to work in Hong Kong (2001) and once for a week-long stopover on my way to New Zealand. Last time I was in Beijing, I was 16. Long time ago…

I can still remember how dazed and confused I was when I arrived at the airport. I was all by myself, my first “big” trip. I was attending summer classes at university even though I hadn’t completed high school then. As my then-boyfriend has grumpily noticed, I was “doing everything backwards”. I guess I still do in a way. Yet, I had loved the country, the culture, the experience. I was alone so I had to try to understand what was going on around me, I had to communicate with people, I had to understand how it worked. Eventually, my life was greatly influenced by the trip. I discovered I didn’t want to live in France and that I didn’t have to if I didn’t want it. That I could find true freedom when traveling. I discovered the world wasn’t as threatening and as dangerous as I had been told. This trip also of course led to a lot of late night Pink Floyd’s lyrics study (“we’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl...”) and an almost lethal dose of U2 (“and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…“). But I traveled a lot the following years and I have never regretted making the decision of going to China.

I’m a grown up now (I like to think so anyway) and I can’t wait to see Beijing through new eyes. Now matter what people say about China, the country is still fascinating to me. It underwent so many changes I bet I can barely recognize it. There are many myths about China and I hope I can show you another side of the country, a side where people do talk about politics, try to make their lives better by educating themselves about the world, where people joke and make fun of their country as well as themselves.

I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do but I’ll try to post pictures like I did when I was in France. Don’t expect me to comment to much on your blogs in the next few weeks but I will definitely check my feeds. And I will be back in September.

On my way to bed and then to middle earth! See you soon guys!

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