Hutong Life- Day 42

31/365: Among Emperors
Among Emperors/#31/D7000/Panjiayuan Flea Market/Beijing, China
32/365: Manual Labor
Manual Labor/#32/D7000/Baochao Hutong/Beijing, China
33/365: Convenient Welcome
Convenient Welcome/#33/D7000/Zhong Tao Hutong/ Beijing, China
34/265: A Game of wits
A Game of Wits/#34/D7000/Beijing, China
35/365: Dusty Flats
Dusty Flats/#35/D7000/Gulou Street/Beijing, China
36/365: Ladder Nap
Ladder Nap/#36/D7000/Andingmen Road/Beijing, China
37/365: A man and his dog
A Man and his Dog/#37/D7000/Beijing Hutongs/Beijing, China
38/365: Sky Bridge at Dusk
Sky Bridge at Dusk/#38/D7000/Beijing, China
39/365: Where everyone should be looking
Where everyone should be looking/#39/D7000/China National Museum/Beijing, China
40/365: Batteries Not Included
*Batteries not included/#40/D7000/Pearl Market/Beijing, China
41/365: Couple in Bamboo
Couple in Bamboo/#41/D7000/Zi Zhu Yuan Park/Beijing, China
42/365: Bubble Ride
Bubble Ride/#42/D7000/Zi Zhu Yuan Park/Beijing, China

Why did I choose China? Out of all the other countries in the world…China? It’s a question I get asked often. The reason though is a bit complicated. I guess you could say its due to my poor Spanish skills.

In high school my Spanish teacher made it known to me that I had the worst Spanish accent in her 30+ years of teaching. The worst. Not the kind of motivation to get your students to continue language study, so I entered undergraduate with the idea of taking a different language; an Asian language. I wanted to study Korean, the language of my biological mother, but Vandy didn’t have that option so I settled on a more practical choice: Chinese. I’ve been studying Chinese on an off since my sophomore year of college and while my skills are intermediate at best I continue to push myself to understand. I’ve had too many patients in the hospital go unheard because of the lack of Chinese speaking physicians. I would like to change that. I would like to be able to build rapport with these people and help further their trust in the American healthcare system.

But before all that motivation I decided to study abroad. To take full advantage of my college career and after only 1 year of Chinese study I flew off to Shanghai, China for 2 months. What ensued was beautiful chaos.

China has a way about it, it is rapidly modernizing and the China of today is nothing like it was a decade ago, but it still has many of the old world charms that I love. I love going outside not sure what I am going to run into. No clue on what I am going to find. Of course not every day is a crazy adventure, but most days are. Most days have something special about it, whether that be something I see or something I put into motion.

For instance, this weekend my roomie and I went for a 7 mile run around the Forbidden City. I ran with my hand outstretched grazing the walls of the palace. Exactly. There is something surreal about jogging around the ancient palace that was built 400 years before America was even “discovered” by European colonists.

Some days can be a slog, days in the apartment reading articles, writing proposals, emailing back and forth, but it is within my power to get out an explore. Every nook and cranny has some secret, some unknown history. That is why I chose China; to learn some of this country’s beautiful secrets.


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