I returned to Beijing on the 25th of July for my third year here. This time, the feeling of coming home was even more pronounced and I have none of those feelings of being somewhere new and exciting that must be explored immediately.
No, this time, I came back with about ten days left of holiday and began working on three of my four projects: making a quilt, practicing the mandolin and keeping on with my writing in a more structured and determined fashion.
I’ve finished the top of the quilt and am going in search of batting and backing today. I’ve picked up the mandolin once (which is better than not at all…). I’m on target with my writing (500 words three times a week – it’s not much but the first 500 took me two hours).
The fourth project? Learning Mandarin. A friend who left Beijing last month gave me some CDs that should help a little. It shames me that I have not picked up any more than I have. It also frustrates me that I just cannot communicate with anyone. This makes for a very small and insular world at times. Which is a gift in itself, but I would like to choose to leave that now and then.
Slow life. That is my goal for this year. I don’t want to rush, I don’t want to try to do everything with everybody all of the time. I want to create and converse. I have started listening to radio documentaries of programmes that are not must or talk back based. A whole new world has opened up because I can do two things at once – listen and learn as well as sew or paint or make rubber stamps. I will put links here to the better ones I listen to, starting with this one:
And here is a link to the transcript:
I’m glad you could make it to the start of the 3rd year 🙂