A weird illness, too many Chinese words and new friends

A weird illness, too many Chinese words and new friends

I know I know! I haven’t posted for a while. A lot of things have happened in the past few weeks and I’ve been really really really busy and tired.

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Firstly, I have been rather unwell for the past 3 weeks and is only now starting to show small signs of improvement. I woke up 1 morning with tingling and numbness in both hands and have had no feeling whatsoever in both my hands. Thankfully on Monday I started to regain some feeling back however it is still limited. The general consensus between doctors is that it was either metal poisoning from something I’ve eaten or some sort of virus. We may never know! This has really put a downer on the last few weeks, however, and I’m just thankful to be able to smile again today!

Ice skating. I have always been a massive fan, and especially when I was younger I used to go a fair amount. So of course as soon as I heard that my Chinese flat mate was going ice skating, I jumped at the chance and because we are in China and everything China does is awesome and to the extreme, the ice rink is in the centre of a mall with regular shops around it and so it was warm, allowing me to skate in a vest top!

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Mandarin. Still really enjoying it! I have made friends with some people near by where I live and so in the evening we meet and speak Mandarin. I’d say my mandarin is now good enough to have some pretty good conversation with of course the odd English word here and there and me saying “zai shou yi bian” meaning “say again 1 more time” aka “please can you repeat what you just said”. At the moment I’m actually in the advanced class, where most students have been learning for at least a year. I enjoy it as we learn more complex sentence structures and my Mandarin skills get pushed to the limit. Everyday I find myself learning more and more useful things that I can then apply to my evening conversations.

Wangfujing. You either love it or hate it. I hate it. The food isn’t even authentic Chinese food that people eat here. It’s all just one big tourist trap. To be fair though, the food they serve is spectacular and some might even go as far as saying that its “haochi” meaning “tasty”. You can eat things from scorpions to snakes to starfish. If you’re into those sort of things you definitely won’t be disappointed and the prices aren’t even too bad!

Lama Temple. I managed to do some sight seeing in the weekend and visited the Lama Temple. I do feel, however, that it seems to get rather repetitive, especially if you visit the Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple consecutively. Still interesting anyhow and got some spectacular pictures.

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Moving to a hostel this week. Even though I have 2 weeks left I am moving to a hostel this weekend. Mainly because next week I only do 2 hours instead of 5 and so I want to do some more sight seeings which is nearer to the hostel than where I live right now, which is practically the suburbs of Beijing in 5th ring. Another reason is that it is a little cheaper and I guess saving money is a good thing! Especially as I’ve been eating a lot of Western food the past few weeks while I’ve had my hand numbness.

So what’s the plan? That’s actually a really good question because at the moment I have no idea. If I continue to regain feelings in both my hands then I will probably continue my original plan however I will be doing 1 week less travelling as I extended an extra week here so I could do the HSK 2 exam. If my hands get worse again then we will have to see but I’m hoping that won’t be the case. First stop will probably be Xi-an visiting a friend that manages a hostel. Then take a flight down to Yunnan province and follow my original plan from there with just less days.

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