2018: My Hometown Glory? ... Beijing, China!

Straight up, I took my weekends for granted before starting my weekend Montessori teaching course! Trying to salvage what I have of a weekend right now, have I actually been busy or not during my 'new' weekend routine? Sanlitun got me on that Destination Blue but deep down my four walls seemed like the best place to be. Serious, I still find time for my Soju fuelled nights!

Fresh from my hiatus from being in China, I had envisaged weekends full packed with sightseeing in China's Capital city but after the workload kicked in and being in the classroom all day, that had me feeling sleepy! All I wanted for the weekends was to stay home and chill out, what has life become? Of course, chilling out this time round means a good drink when Friday made an appearance, but with that boozy behaviour I didn't want to make it out of bed into the city. Previously in Wuhan I would pull the same tricks but my apartment wasn't as nice as this upgraded Beijing residence! This new posh gaff has given me that extra excuse to order in and close to the world out! So many a weekend has passed me by, did I feel they had been misspent? No, I was entitled to relax and rest up with a drink in hand, but it did beg the question that I should have been in the city more? I'm planning on living here for a while longer, the chilled opportunities can continue as far as I am concerned! There are no mistakes, pour me another! 

Arriving in November the Beijing cold bit like a bad one, to combat that chill I was fortunate enough that my landlord provided me with free heating during that sub-zero period. Getting home each evening to that warm air felt like a massive relief, washing all over me it was bliss and quite frankly I didn't want to leave my toasty warm apartment one bit! The odd trip to Wu Mei took me outside or to the shop to get some more drink but from Friday evening to Monday morning I didn't have any grand plans to leave my Beijing abode. That hermit life got me craving something more, breaking out in January to a problematic day within Beijing's Muslim Quarter reminded me why I should have stayed in the warm! Only joking it was great to get out but I would give my right arm for a two day weekend like they were before! I don't need sympathy because my current hustle is genuine and will benefit my future. Lazy weekends like that will return soon, with all that lounging I wanted to get out! When you have free time, cherish it! Bei!

It's no secret that I have always wanted to know what Montessori was all about, being in Beijing at my chosen International Kindergarten I was fortunate enough to be selected for the EMTTA Montessori Weekend Teaching Course. Before detailing certain terms I wasn't present at the first classes, I had carefully negotiated another contract to get myself some rest time. If fate would have had it, the EMTTA department moved into three vacant classrooms at my school before March 2018 made an appearance. Attending at first during the tail-end of the 'Practical Life' module, I had my eyes opened to the potential of the teaching qualification in hand! It got me thinking about things more clearly, it was something that would have taken a lot longer to have achieved in Wuhan! Not disrespecting Hubei's provincial city but I left for Beijing for serious career development and getting a place on this Montessori gig was something that I had wanted, it was all meant to be. Work this out, each and every Friday is now my new weekend!

I'm still pretty fresh in Beijing, China and this time around I don't have a 'China bestie', so any friendly face is recognised as long as I catch their vibe. Meeting Chanel and Kelly was the thing that I needed, we have been present in classes to simply laugh the day away, sometimes it's serious and we listen and practise with the materials because we have been selected for the course. It's a long weekend course and sometimes we have to be real about humour and life! In a group with predominately Chinese females, not so much integration has been made, so it's been #TeamForeigner all the way! It's so far taking most of my time, meaning I train at the weekends and work in the week but I have a little break. At the moment we are working our way through the Sensorial module, there's a lot of Geometry shapes and Tri-nomal cubes but I lived for the Thermic Bars because they will hopefully interest the kids for sure! Even though the schedule is full on, I know it will going to benefit me in time. Could Montessori be the one? Beijing's busy! 

I knew that Beijing had the power even before my Emirates flight had touched down at Capital Airport! Of course, Destination slayed the competition fearlessly and without fail severed me the Rainbow that I had been looking for in Wuhan! China shies away from flying a proud rainbow flag, marred with a traditional society, I found a place in Beijing's party neighbourhood to wild out at. Peering through with much curiosity, I was fronted by a sea of beautiful men, Oriental by race and gorgeous by appearance, it was like a dream had come true! Wading my way through the crowded walkways I found the dance floor, before me stood a hive of energy with so much to look at! Pretty boys worked their cakes for their adorning fans, I had to get myself on that podium for a brief moment because I was feeling my fiercest self during that moment! Destination Blue? The second visit saw me sink countless serving of that blue liquid, for what unfolded I don't think it's worth going into! That drink that knocked me out! Destination, who?

Having a few quiet beverages at home after my Spring Festival holiday, I then found myself in a DiDi taxi on my way to Destination! Being a Thursday night during the Chinese New Year holiday, it was like a breath of fresh air to not have to push and shove through a sea of queens! Queens of any nationality or race, we are fierce specimens regardless! Taking charge of the venue, I had a few blue drinks on but there wasn't going to be any drama that time around, dominating the floor I was quite popular during that impromptu night out! Life may be very different but I wasn't expecting an easy ride! With training I have had to reinvent my weekend but I have the future in my sights. Weekends on a Friday or spent training, it's all the same because I have to make the best of this next year because if I don't I will end up insane or dropping down from exhaustion! Beijing's definitely kept on my toes thus far, quite frankly I don't see the pace slowing down any time soon! No, I'm just getting started! I have faith! 加油! 

Beijing's New Rules!

Joseph Harrison 


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