In our new city, new country, working at new jobs and meeting new people, Scotty and I often find we are overwhelmed by long work hours and the struggle to fit more than 24 hours worth of things into a day. On top of that, the Beijing pollution this Sunday was nearly at AQI 400 (“Hazardous”), and all physical activity outdoors was strongly discouraged by the US Embassy’s air quality website. For context, today Toronto’s air quality reads in at AQI 14.
So this past weekend, we ran away to the mountains.
Last Sunday, we were invited over to visit a friend from one of the many schools where Scotty tutors English. The invitation was to come for the afternoon to watch a movie and make dumplings. Little did we know that making dumplings is a HUGE event that traditionally involves several families getting together and prepping enough food to feed everyone. It was tons of fun and great to be a part of it!
At the far North West end of Beijing’s subway line, the Summer Palace is a short walk away. At the end of October, Scotty and I went with Lucille (another expat in Beijing) and became tourists for the day.
On our first week in Beijing, we were welcomed by the school with a trip to the Great Wall and a “retreat” where we were able to meet most of the teachers and staff we would be working with directly during the year. Between the new friends we’ve made and our own wanderings, we’re starting to learn our way around.