Etikettarkiv: beijing

Christmas in China 2014

When I woke this Christmas day I first didn’t realize that it was actually Christmas, it felt like any other day, but then I looked at the date and saw it was the 24th and then it dawned on me. Merry Christmas.

Our very own Christmas tree

Our very own Christmas tree

Christmas isn’t really celebrated here, well, some families do celebrate and private schools usually arrange Christmas dinner for parents and children. The things is, the families who do celebrate, do it mostly because they like giving each other presents, they don’t actually know why we celebrate. I asked one of my kids if they had a Christmas tree at home and he said; -No, mother says that is too exepensive and difficult to get hold of. When I told him that we usually have a real Christmas tree and decorate it, he looked chocked and couldn’t believe we had a real tree and not a plastic tree.

salmon

salmon

Me and Liza did some Christmas shopping, then we took the train to Beijing. I managed to Skype with my family for a few minutes at Starbucks, they confirmed my worst fears; No snow in Sweden either. Hello global warming. When we arrived at Aude’s place the preparations were still going on and everyone was running around like crazy. They had decorated and prepared food all day and it looked fantastic. When it was finally time to eat I think we all choked back a few tears when we saw all the food; salmon, cheese, potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce, you name it. I savoured each bite, it was so good. One of the French guys Simon, ran his own wine cellar and had brought with him some wine that we all got to try and it tasted devine. After the dessert (tiramisu) we handed out gifts to each other and played some games. It was the perfect end to a wonderful evening. The morning after we helped cleaning and got a few lunch boxes to take with us, the turkey had weighed over 6 kilos. The weather here feels a bit like spring at the moment and not like winter at all, which is kind of nice.

cutting the turkey

cutting the turkey

I recieved some chocolate from Sweden, we finished that one pretty quick. Liza says that she would come to Sweden purely for the chocolate, I said I would go to Kiev purely for the coffee. We are planning to move out of the dorm soon to another apartment owned by Liza’s boss, mainly because we don’t have to pay rent there. I feel that the rent here is quite exepensive, giving that we share a room, so I’m looking forward to move out.

Robert and Simon are enjoying the wine

Robert and Simon are enjoying the wine

Yummy

Yummy

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas dancing in the living room

Christmas dancing in the living room

the whole "gang"

the whole ”gang”

That’s it for now

The mosquitos are back!

Mask on
Mask on
I think this would be a success in Sweden
I think this would be a success in Sweden

I really thought we were passed all this but no, the mosquitos are back and they are as feisty as ever. I wonder how they have managed to stay alive for so long, all I know is that the minute we turn the lights off, I can hear them. Death to all mosquitos!

This week has been really quiet so far, I have been preparing for my presentation on Monday, where I will talk about Sweden and air pollution. It was quite interesting because last time we were discussing the countryside here in China and what sort of problems they are facing with pollution, waste etc. Suddenly my teacher asked about the situation in Sweden and what I thought were China’s biggest challenges. I actually felt a bit ashamed to say that, since there is not that many of us in Sweden, our problems are of a “slightly” smaller scale. I then added that I think the biggest challenge China faces is its ever-growing population; there are just too many people. The teacher smiled and said she would very much like to see Sweden one day and experience what it’s like to breathe some fresh air. I told her she was welcomed. My presentation will be in both English and Chinese since, according to my teacher, my classmates needs to practise their English.

Today I’m in Beijing to celebrate Aude’s birthday, well, technically it’s tomorrow, but we celebrate her today anyway. I met up with Miriam for lunch and we went to an Indian restaurant. I haven’t had Indian food for months, so it was extra delicious this time. I don’t know the plans for tonight, but there is always something to do in Beijing, so I’m not worried.

I played some badminton with my classmates, they were of course all better then me, but I had fun. The most popular sports in China seem to be, table tennis, basketball and badminton. Football is not so big here, the woman’s team is better than the men’s team, but then again, so is Sweden’s;) I play table tennis with my language partner sometimes.

A lot of people ask me what you eat for breakfast here in China and I myself stick to porridge, but since most people have quite a long way to work and commute everyday, most people end up buying something on the street. In the mornings you see people selling warm soymilk with some kind of fried bread or pancake. A boiled egg with some sort of rice porridge is also quite common. It all tastes good, but I prefer porridge, it just feels more like breakfast to me. I love soymilk though, especially with coconut flavour, I could drink it everyday and it’s so cheap compared to coffee. I wish it were more common in Sweden.

I think it time for a visit to IKEA soon, it’s December soon after all and they always have such nice Christmas decorations and of course, the food. I really miss salmon, you can find it here, but it’s usually with sushi and right now I would just like some nice oven baked salmon with mashed potatoes. I think I will stock up on my supply of chocolates as well when we go to IKEA, it is much needed and fortunately you can find Marabou chocolate there. Besides salmon I don’t really miss Swedish food, there is so much interesting food here. The only thing I can get fed up with sometimes is rice. There’s always rice, rice, rice, everyday, twice per day if possible. It’s like, if you don’t eat rice, you cannot possibly feel full. Every time I go to the canteen to buy some food, they always ask me if I want rice or not, and 9 out of 10 times I say no and they always give me a very sceptical look that say; Are you sure you don’t want any, you won’t feel full otherwise. I guess it’s a bit like Swedes and potatoes, but these days I guess we eat more pasta than potatoes. It’s not that they don’t eat potatoes here, it’s just prepared in a different way and it’s never ever boiled. I have seen meatballs here as well, but they’re boiled, not fried. This is also very typical for the food here up north; everything is fried and very oily. I have to say though, I love it and I love the spices they use. I think that’s it for today, I’ll write more on Sunday after this weekend’s events.

Bye!