I stumbled upon my note on my Beijing trip back in 2010. I was there for Asian International Model United Nations, it’s a simulation of UN meetings for students. It was held by Peking University and attended by more than 500 participant representing 120 universities from 30 different countries. I, with five other friends from Indonesia, went there to represent ISAFIS (Indonesia Student Association for International Studies). ISAFIS is a youth movement organization based in Jakarta with the motto ‘build understanding among youth’.
Before I landed in Beijing, I wasn’t so excited about exploring China on the conference as I saw so many Chinese back home. Especially in my hometown (Berastagi), there are a lot of Chinese background group who speak one of Chinese ethnic languages (Hokien). Living in Chinese community ever since I was a kid made me wonted of their cultures and characters. However, my point of view about China was totally changed after I went there. There were a bunch of unexpected things which really surprised me (the foods, the cultures, the landmarks, the environments, etc) .
Overall I spend about 7 days or a week there. It was an unforgettable moment. I feel like I miss something on my flight back to Indonesia. It is because I realized that Chinese people are so welcome with the foreigners. I really love the environment in Beijing. I heard from my local Chinese friend that Beijing is the most polluted city in China. But I found it’s not as dusty as Jakarta or any other city in Indonesia. Maybe because it was still spring when I came so I felt the weather was still fresh. But I love so many other things too there. I like those people who keep on smiling and give directions of the streets, accompany me to many places include traveling around the city. Moreover, everything was cheap there. I found it was even cheaper than things in Jakarta. For instance, if I want to travel by bus I only need to pay one Yuan (which is Rp.1335) in any distance. It was even cheaper than the cheapest transportation in Jakarta (Kopaja and Metromini). Also, if I wanna travel by subway train (yes, they have subways), I only need to pay two Yuans and I can go from a corner to another corner around Beijing. OMG so cheap! And they even have tram. Uniquely, their tram doesn’t come with the rail but only connected with the cable on the roof. I saw some other unique transportation too. It has three wheels and looks similar with ‘Bajaj’ in Jakarta.
I bought so many souvenirs there because it is so cheap and I couldn’t stand not to buy those cute things. I bought a set of Beijing Olympic Games 2008 doll mascots for 40 Yuans. I bought many snacks and foods. I like their foods so much! They have almost the same taste with Indonesian foods. I think Indonesian got some influence from Chinese cuisine because in the ancient time Chinese kingdoms and Indonesian ones (there were many sporadic kingdoms before in Indonesia) had a good trade relation. Although I’m not a fussy eater but I think I’d love to stay in China as it’s so easy for me to find cheap and yummy foods.
I really got the real Chinese culture experience there. Those people are so nice with the outsiders. They always try to smile and make me feel comfort. They treat you sincerely from their hearth; likewise they do their best to treat me. I never heard that they speak bad words or swearing others, always try to be nice in front of me.
Despite there are less people who can speak English, I really love Beijing. I’m planning to stay there for half a year or maybe a year to learn Mandarin as I need to add my language ability.
Ps. I fond these pictures so much!!