As the first week comes to an end I can honestly say that I have fallen in love with this country. Each day has brought new experiences and adventures that I could have only imagined. I’ve enjoyed everything from eating with chopsticks every day to exploring the streets and sites of Beijing. Each day brings something new to the table and I have yet to experience the same thing twice. One cultural aspect I found intriguing was the Chinese usage of tea and how it plays a key role in their daily lives. Even though coffee and other drinks provide the caffeinated buzz workers need to get through the morning, the Chinese drink tea not only to wake themselves up, but to better their health and living standards. Different types of tea such as oolong or pu’er tea promote different benefits for the body that the Chinese follow to a point. Some tea is used to cure stomach aches, others are used for the promotion of longevity and eye health, and so much more.
The culture behind how men and women hold their tea cups also intrigued me as it really showed the strong patriarchal culture that exists in China, even though it is said to be fading in today’s day and age. Regardless, I have sincerely enjoyed my time here in Beijing and cannot wait to continue experiencing new and exciting adventures. From seeing the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, and so much more I have come to the conclusion that I will never fall to boredom in this city.
One cultural aspect however I still do not quite understand are the driving laws and pedestrian practices that occur on a daily basis. A red light means stop, yet it also means go? Multiple intersecting traffic lanes go at the same time? One moment everything is normal and then next you see a four-way intersection all going at once while pedestrians and bikers seem to casually weave their way through the mess that is Beijing traffic. I do not understand how road rules can be like this and why the government tolerates such driving. Then again, it seems to work for them and as long as the people get to where they need to be then I guess anything goes. After all, it is Beijing.