UIBE Week 4
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
I slept all day as I clearly needed the rest post-TP week and the partying the night before, plus I now had a full-blown cough/cold and very little voice left.
Despite feeling rough, I somehow found the energy to go out again in the evening and headed to Power 11, which is another all-you-can-drink-for-¥30 bar, and then on to the Shisha bar, which is vaguely Turkish themed. Both these bars have great dance floors, so I was able to have a good old Liz-style boogie plus a bit of salsa dancing with Fabian. It’s always a good idea to try a bit of Latin American dancing with a Latin American!
I felt like death the following day. My voice had now completely gone and the cough was really bad - I guess I only had myself to blame...
I had to head to the Chinese Embassy in the afternoon with a load of the others to sort out my visa.
Fortunately the trip didn’t take too long and I was able to head to McDonalds to get some much-needed hangover food, which seemed to perk me up enough to head out again - this time to Liberty’s again.
Another great boogie was on the cards, too many pina coladas to mention, and a stop off at the 24 hour noodle bar on the way home!
I was back in the class the following morning and endured an incredibly painful day. I somehow, between the drinking, illness and the hangovers, managed to finished my fourth assignment and hand it in on time in the afternoon!!
Took a trip to the pharmacy after class, and after the usual confusion and sign-language always endured when trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language, I walked away with a small collection of potions that I was hoping might rid me of the cough and return my voice.
That evening I went out to dinner with Amy, Heidi, Jakob, Ben, Dave and Jack. We went to another great restaurant across the road from the university and tried some great different dishes. I never know what meat I’m consuming in these restaurant and don’t like to ask questions, but have adopted the view that if it’s taste good then I shouldn’t concern myself with the details.
I felt much better the following day, perhaps because I’d managed to get an early night! My voice was still pretty bad though, so I figured I needed to try to refrain from using it as much as possible - a virtually impossible task!!
Classes were really dull - I have some vague recollection of there being one too many grammar lessons.
We all then piled into taxis to head to Huckley’s bar at Houhai Lake. Huckley’s is otherwise known as the ‘Shut-up and Drink’ bar and has a sign on the door claiming to serve ‘F**king good Mojitos’. I can assure you they are the worst Mojitos I’ve ever tasted so it’s best to stick to beer here or any cocktail that doesn’t require fresh ingredients or vaguely exotic liqueur. Despite the bad Mojitos it was a great evening as virtually everyone from the programme was out, which meant we completely took over the bar and spilled out on to the street.... I managed to get groped by some dirty old Chinese man, which wasn’t so pleasant, but Simon stepped in, in true gentlemen stylie to secure me an apology.
We headed back to campus at around 1am and I ended up at the 24hr noodle bar again. I then got a call from Fi requesting my company at a bar in San Li Tun. I’m not the sort of girl who needs much encouragement, so I promptly jumped in a cab and headed over to join her, her cousins - Sara and Mark, and Solaro, Simon, Katja and Kyle.
After a few G&T’s we headed to the club Mix. It was free for girls to get in, which was a good result, and the music was pretty awesome too - some great hip hop! Needless to say, I had another good boogie and another VERY late night!
School the following day was yet another endurance challenge, but I got a rest at lunchtime which perked me up.
After class I headed to the hair salon across the road from campus. I’d heard a rumour that you could get a wash & blow-dry, plus lengthy head massage for ¥25. Whilst I was there I also decided to treat myself to a pedicure. It was heaven and the whole experience lasted 3.5 hours!!
However, whilst my feet were being seen to, I noticed a rather large swelling at different points on both legs. I’d clearly been bitten by something, but couldn’t see a bite mark. I’m guessing I’d just reacted to a bad mosquito bite. The mossies had enjoyed feasting on me since my arrival at UIBE, but this was the first time I’d reacted in this way. The swellings started to get more and more painful, so I took some anti-histamines and pain-killers, which I hoped would do the trick.
My freshly coiffed hair needed to be shown off, so I headed out that evening to Power 11 and had yet another awesome night boogying away. Yet again, there was a pretty large crowd out but the bar was also unusually packed with loads of Chinese as well as us Westerners.
Fortunately by the morning the anti-histamines had started to work on my legs, but I was still coughing like a trooper and speaking in a whisper.... Anyhow, today we had to sign our contracts for the school placements. I was heading to a high school in a town called Miyun about 55km north of Beijing. I would be working and living with Inga, my German flat mate. I can’t say I was over the moon about this placement, once I was told the only way into Beijing was by bus taking 2 hours, plus Inga and I hadn’t really developed any kind of friendship at that point in time and I really wasn’t sure if one would develop.
Contracts aside, I had a pretty easy day, which involved dumplings for supper and a few beers on campus after class rather than manic dancing at a bar down the road.