Building Castles in the Air (1)

5 Sep
I have been living and working in Beijing now for about a month and so far have considered it to be a blessing that is both hidden and completely visible at the same time. There is not one moment that I am no thankful for and yet there are many which I wish I would forget. I am constantly amazed that this is now my life and these will be the people I shall see for some time, but I think that these thoughts have not quite seeped through to my brain, nor my heart. And for once in my short life, I am at peace with this notion that I have not quite settled yet.
Settling takes time and aligning oneself with a new routine and new people…I am glad that I do not settle so easily.

Throughout my time here thus far, I have written some pages with my thoughts, my musings if you will on anything that I come upon at the time. My side-bag is almost always with me, and in it is always a pen and notebook to jot down some random thoughts, call me a nerd, but that’s what I am.

Aug, 14th 2011
I am the foreigner amongst foreigners here in a city larger than I can describe on paper or in a Blog post. People stare at me, with an awe and confused look playing on their facial features. They’re wondering what it is that I am doing here. I simply smile at them and nod in the most respectful way I can think of and continue walking. They pretend not to notice my acknowledgement and look away quickly. Some smile broadly right back at me. Its rather comical in a way, sort of unsettling and yet comfortable and humbling at the same time.

Aug, 25th 2011
I walked across a bridge and while crossing I saw a woman who was barely there. Her eyes were closed and the skin on her face was pulled tight. Whether it’s tight with age or tight with hunger is difficult to say. “Both” I think to myself. A man is repeatedly bowing down to those who pass by, he says “xie xie” each time his head falls, which means “thank you.” But no matter how many times he says “xie xie” the people still walk by without even glancing down.
But who am I to judge though? I too walked by without even slowing down, wrapped up in my life. And I selfishly thought: “I will write about that and move the hearts of those who read.”

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