Au Pair in China: First Week in Beijing
My first week as an au pair in Beijing with ImmerQi has involved green tea ice cream, fermented egg, and countless imaginary tea parties.
The little girl I au pair for is aged just four but her English skills are far superior to my mandarin and she is probably teaching me as much as I’m teaching her.
I feel extremely lucky as my host family have been so friendly and welcoming.
The mother and father I am employed by have both stayed with host families whilst studying in the UK.
Therefore they know what it feels like to be a guest in someone’s home.
To introduce me to Beijing they have shown me an array of Chinese delicacies including vegetable pancakes, boiled dumplings, and steamed buns.
The food has been a dream.
As a vegetarian, I was a little worried about what my meat alternatives would be.
However, as egg, tofu and a huge variety of vegetables feature heavily in Beijing dishes I am usually spoilt for choice.
Getting around Beijing, however, has proved a more difficult story.
Beijing itself is difficult to access if you don’t speak Chinese and can be overcrowded and overwhelming.
The options include taxi, metro, and bike.
The metro is definitely the easiest of the three, as without a Chinese bank account you can’t rent a bike!
However, taxies can be paid in cash although they can be pricey during rush hour.
The metro is fine, but expect a sardine in a tin experience if you travel between 7-10am and 4-7pm.
This makes me all the more grateful for having such a caring host family who lives outside of the city center in a more suburban area.
With them, I visit tourist attractions and restaurants by car, which is convenient as despite holding a drivers license for many years, I wouldn’t dare brave the roads here.
Overall, I have had a great first week.
I have begun to see how ‘Beijingers’ live on a day to day basis and sampled some traditional Chinese food.
Over the next eight weeks, we are going to visit some of the major tourist attractions surrounding Beijing.
I’m sure I will encounter many more dishes that Beijing has to offer.
My most pressing thought, however, is that I feel incredibly lucky to have such a kind host family who wants to spend their time with me.
They are proud to show me all that China has to offer.
Laura Sprules, an English Au Pair from Au Pair China Programme, is placed in Beijing for 2 months.
To find out more about Au Pair China Program, please click ‘Au Pair China Program‘.
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