Written by: Amber’Jade Friend, Au Pair Participant
When I hear China I automatically picture factories, loads of people and not a foreign person in sight. Not to mention the so called pollution where seeing a blue sky just does not happen, which I would definitely like to clear up quickly.
Starting off by saying, Beijing (which is supposedly pollution central) actually has one of the most beautiful blue skies I have ever seen, which says a lot because I am from Africa, the city itself is like a jungle, a concrete jungle, and a legitimate jungle. Where ever you look your vision swims with green.
Naturally one would assume that China is just like the little ‘China towns’ that pop up all over our home countries.
Full of statues of cats, lots of lanterns and even more colorful lights, this being my complete subjected and honest opinion. Which is now followed with absolute wonder, astonishment, and surprise. However, I’ll get to the truths about China and how it is actually the complete opposite of the common person’s perspectives in just a bit.
My first question to you is, ‘When last did you step out of your life, jump out of your comfort zone and live? Not just live by sneaking in a chocolate during a diet or go skinny dipping in the ocean, but actually, live and experience life?
Have you ever?
When I stumbled across this country I was sitting behind a desk eight hours a day, going through my daily routine and craving adventure. Now is generally where you would ask me, ‘Why China? Of all places you could go, why China?”
Well, dear reader, this is where I answer your question with a question. “What country could possibly be more diverse? What country could possibly offer more adventure?” Sure, you could go grape picking in Italy, play soccer in Brazil, or even skydiving in America, but one day, when you’re old, which would you feel more proud of?
Immersing yourself into a totally unfamiliar culture and coming out successful, or going on a ridiculously overpriced holiday for a week that you possibly won’t fully enjoy because your activities were rushed in due to a tight budget?.
With that said, now I want to play a little game.
Name another country that has birds who build nests in caves? Or that has a new year’s celebration that lasts fifteen days! Yes, that’s right, fifteen days to relax or celebrate. Do you remember me mentioning the concrete jungle?
Well, Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world. Oh and of course, if you are keen on the saying ‘eyebrows on fleek’ you can always go and visit the Leshan Giant Buddha which has 5.5-meter long eye brows.
Where else in the world can you stumble upon emperors who considered themselves descendants of dragons?
What other countries in the world give their dogs special treats during a traditional celebration. That’s right; one day during the New Year celebration is completely dedicated to giving dogs treats and love.
What gets better than that?
Now, dear reader, I am going to leave you with a quote that encouraged me to take my leap out of comfort, “If you were meant to stay in one place, you would have been born with roots instead of feet.” – Rachel Wolchim
Amber’Jade Friend, a South African Au Pair from Au Pair China Programme, is placed in Beijing for 6 months.
To find out more about Au Pair China Program, please click ‘Au Pair China Program‘.