Whilst I was in Beijing almost a year ago now, immersing myself in its raw and authentic culture and the city’s both historical and modern beauty and also its freezing [literally] weather, I had a sudden realisation another reason to why I loved to travel : learning the language. It’s hysterical, particularly to the local, when you attempt to slowly communicate with them in their language trying incredibly hard to correctly pronounce words and ending in the local speaking in rough English. Well, gold star for trying??
Visiting Beijing, China last December  brought me around to a second tally on the amount of times I have visited China. Despite scary rumours about unsafe streets and dodgy people, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Beijing and would certainly love to return one day. If there was one Chinese dish, I could have at dinner everyday it would be Peking duck and here I was, eating Peking duck every night because if you’re in the city of PEKING DUCK then why the heck not? Not to mention, my eyes went bug-eyed snapping up all their ancient Chinese architecture with its intricate detailed scenic and patterned fine paintings. Hopefully, these iPhone snaps above do Beijing’s beauty justice.
Now here’s a little ‘Alicia history’. I’m Chinese but I was born and grew up in Australia, my parents always spoke either English or our Chinese dialect of Teo Chiew with me so I am yet to master the complex language of Mandarin. I’m still developing my Chinese and attempting, very slowly may I add, to speak fluently, I can catch a few words here and there and form a sentence which is progress. As the globe becomes more interconnected, it becomes incredibly beneficial to know more than one language. For example, did you know over half the people from Europe can speak at least two languages, 25% can speak 3 and 10% can speak 4 – frankly that is remarkable, I virtually applaud you for that! It’s 2014 [to state the obvious] and we are growing up in a society where China is becoming increasingly influential makes knowing how to speak Mandarin a powerful tool and you, a handy asset. So that is why, when I finish school altogether next year I aim to take a Chinese Integration process to study Chinese at a university holiday program. My brother went for 4 weeks and he came back speaking Chinese so much better than he ever did in his seven years of learning it as a child.
Just a flashback to Beijing….I remember my family being separated and lost on the first day. We had planned to visit the Forbidden City (紫禁城) and so headed there in two taxis (three persons in each car) because apparently maxi cabs are seen once in a blue moon in China. Somehow or rather, one taxi cab ended up across a huge stretch of uncrossable road filled with beeping cars and the other car arrived on the correct side of the road, at Tiananmen Square. Moral of the story: taxi drivers get yourselves together.
shot with iPhone 5S