Time passes by so quickly I do not know what stories to share with you!
Well, first thing first every day here I learn a lot of new stuff. How to help children blow-dry their hair, for example or how to make them interested in reading. (Behave as stupid as you can, change your voice and make funny noises). It can be very exhausting to take care of Ailin and Alex, especially because they can switch from sitting on your lap and laughing with you to crying and ignoring you within seconds. Well, I just try to adapt and learn with them whenever I can.
I also start to learn how to survive in China; luckily I have a few experienced helpers. Sometimes I feel like a little child as I have to learn everything, from taking the bus or taxi to ordering food, from eating with chopsticks to shopping at the market. We went to the Beijing zoo last Tuesday, an indoor market with several buildings and floors and so many shops selling even more (copied?) goods. I passed by the beautiful Olympic stadium on the way there, one of the most spectacular buildings.
We also have regular Chinese classes, which are extremely productive and funny. Who could have guessed that the expression for morning is just the combination of the words for up and noon? Following the logic, down and noon makes afternoon. However, who could guess that “cup“in Chinese just means “no tree“or the character for “mother“is female + horse?
Another cool thing about being an Au-pair is having other Au-pairs around you. It makes it very easy to make contacts, have a beer or two to chill out or doing some sightseeing together. With the whole group of our Au-pair center including Lea and Lili we went to see the Ming tombs on Thursday. Mysterious and beautifully decorated the graves of the Chinese emperors still remain impressive today, and it was an opportunity to get out of the packed city.
However, Beijing by night is still my favorite, whether it is busy ghost street or touristy Nanlugouxian – I am just so happy that the red lanterns are not a cliché and that you can always meet “normal“ Beijingers on their evening out. After all, you always have somebody around, as there are so many people it is impossible to feel alone here. Just the smile of the ice-cream vendor taking a picture of us or the interested “Where are you from“from a tube guard makes my day.
Write you soon, tomorrow I will visit Mao’s memorial and take a Tai-chi lesson – Yeah!