If you weren’t aware, I’ve moved to Beijing for a year to study Mandarin Chinese, win souls for the kingdom of heaven, and improve my choptstick skills. So far I’ve battled Beijing traffic on a bike, eaten squid, drunk Baijiu (白酒), visited a church, been topless in KTV, been asked to have my photo taken at a historic monument, tried calligraphy, spat in the street (perfectly acceptable in China), bought a smog mask, understood a cab driver, peddled a huge duck-pedalo in Beihai (北海) park, visited the second largest IKEA (宜家家具) in the world, and camped overnight on the Great Wall, and I’m only three weeks in. I will explain all of this at some point.

Looks like a pair of boxers on my face, and apparently it doesn’t work anyway

I’m in Beijing because I’m on my year abroad for Chinese Studies which I do in Manchester. While I’m here, though, I’m studying at Tsinghua University (清华大学), which is apparently quite a big deal. I’ve been here three weeks and am a week into the first semester, and have been meaning to start this blog for a while as quite a lot has already happened. My plan is to write short posts, because I don’t like reading long things on the internet and I figure nobody wants to read essay-length gap-year-esque stories. Hopefully I will provide thought provoking cultural insights into a civilisation vastly different to anything I’ve known before, and present the struggles and joys of learning Chinese. At worst it will be a few anecdotes about nearly getting mown down on my bike or not being able to order what I want at the canteen.

Continuing the dishonourable British tradition of putting flags on things that don't belong to us. Here: the Great Wall
Continuing the dishonourable British tradition of putting flags on things that don’t belong to us. Here: the Great Wall

So this is probably the best space to watch if you want to keep up with me while I’m here. Or you can get WeChat (微信), which is my main way of contacting pretty much anyone when I’m away from my PC (if you don’t have WeChat in China it’s impossible to socially function). It’s like Chinese Whatsapp but with a wider variety of stickers (I’m told).

There will be photos going up on Facebook as well as this space. Until then you can get me on WeChat ( search MoseleyD_, no spam please ). More to follow..

Boss man street calligrapher