Africa · China

Random update

I finally made a big step up in living here by moving into a place. I’ve been living in a hotel since I arrived in Beijing in late August and while I found my place earlier this month, I had to wait until the girl who was renting it before moved out. So I now have an actual home, albeit a small studio-like apartment, and which I just discovered today is opposite an embassy, but it’s good. I will need to do a bit of shopping for household items in the coming days and weeks.

The attack on a Nairobi mall by radical Islamist terrorists has hopefully ended. It took several days during which police and soldiers had to slowly try to force out or kill off terrorists hiding inside the mall while holding hostages. It is a huge tragedy for Kenya, as well as for victims of different nations including China. It’s not just a one-off incident because the terrorists were very likely from a Somalian Islamist group that has been fighting against Somalian and African, including Kenyan, soldiers for control of that country, and it’s a scary development that they can launch such a major attack in another country, especially on a target that was so vulnerable and filled with people from so many different countries. It’s a blessing that many of us live or stay in countries that don’t experience terrorism but the tragedy is a reminder that there’re many countries where terrorism or conflicts or civil war are happening.

Beijing has a bad rep for many things, from the weather to the people to everyday inconveniences. But in my limited time here, I’ve found it very interesting, very attractive at time, and not that inconvenient. It’s like the longer I’m here, the more I see and find out, and the more I want to find out more. For instance, I realized how close my hotel was to the SOHO Galaxy yesterday. And I found out my home is close to a well-known local market and might even be walkable from work. And you pay for your electricity by purchasing units at bank machines anytime and at any amount. Relatively minor stuff I know, but still decent stuff. Of course I’ve experienced a few negatives but it’s been manageable – though I hope I can avoid seeing kids defecate in public lawns as I did yesterday near work. Needless to say, I hope my feeling isn’t an illusion and it stays this way.

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