I’ve said this quite a bit already. If so and so can drive here, then I can too! If so and so was able to manage, then I can too! It helps knowing that other people have been there and done that. It gives me hope that I can do it too–like driving. And you know what—I can!
As we live in Beijing, we want to do all the touristy things, but we also want to do “normal” stuff, like go to the movies and get to know our neighborhood.
I may have written this post a month or so ago, so it’s nice to know that we continue to accomplish all that you see below. 🙂
My husband and I have gone to the movies twice now since moving here, and you know what…it’s pretty much like seeing a movies in the States.
We first went to see Star Wars here (it was pretty good!). We had to stand in line and buy the tickets (which are pricey than in the States with some being about $20) by pointing to a picture of the movie we wanted to see and then pointing to the where we wanted to sit. (We are prepared by having a picture of the movie poster I want to see just in case.) After we got our tickets, we headed downstairs (again, so much is underground. Maybe it helps with the pollution?). Once you went downstairs, you could buy more snacks. We found our theatre (at least the numbers look the same) and entered. Oh, and just outside our particular was this huge VIP Member’s Lounge area. That was something different. Inside the theatre, the seats were nice (although I have been in slightly nicer theaters with the seats that recline). There were commercials as we waited for showtime, but as soon at it turned 4:25 (when our movie was to start), it started. No previews or anything (it was nice not having to wait 15 minutes until the movie finally started!). From there, everything was the same (with the exception of subtitles in Chinese). It’s nice that they have the Western movies available as well. It’s also great just being able to walk to the movie theater!
Since being here, I’ve also gone to see a movie on my own. It’s so much cheaper going earlier in the day on a week day ($5!). Beauty and the Beast was so enjoyable (even on my own!).
Walking the Dogs
For awhile, we just walked the dogs within our community.
It was much easier keeping an eye on a blind dog and a dog who just follows his nose when inside the complex as opposed to dodging cars, scooters, bikes, and pedestrians on the streets in the city.
As we have had some warmer days with good air, I always want to be out as much as possible and the pups do too. That was what made me decide to try walking outside our complex with them.
We took a nice long loop around the canal. For the most part, they did great. I had to carry Maya ( our one eyed blind dog) through some sections that were just a little too challenging for her. They absolutely loved the walk though. Rikki wants to do that walk every day now!
Clean Clothes, Anyone?
Movies. Check. Dog Walking. Check. Dry Cleaners? Check. Ben needs his clothes dry cleaned every so often, so I do that for him and have managed to make it work at the neighborhood dry cleaners where they speak no English. I even managed to figure out how to have them deliver the clothes back to me once they are finished cleaning them! (That was a big accomplishments-it gets heavy carrying them after awhile!). The dry cleaners, like most places, have a discount card system where you can put so much money on a card and then you get a discount. Put 500 kuai on it and get 20% off. Put a 1000 kuai on it and get 30% off. It works out but you did need to be cautious in case a place would close down and you have lots of money left on card!
You Get What You Put In
Living in another country is certainly not without its challenges. Communication can be an issue and things aren’t always done like you would expect them to be. However, living in another country is such an amazing opportunity. You get to learn another culture and experience things that some people only dream about. I also think that you really can grow as a person. I know that I have learned some much in our short time here so far. I will take these experiences with me once we head back to the States one day.
I have grown so much and feel much more confident (not that I wasn’t too confident before ;-)) being in a new environment.
TOTE: Be prepared to take on the challenges and see what you accomplish!