We realised that although we are beginning to share more of our stories now, we haven’t really shared much about ourselves or our expat life!
So, we’ll be updating anyone who cares (everyone, right!?) on what we’ve been up to in the past month. You can watch our Instagram stories for more up-to-date version too!
June is the third month in a row that we have begun with a day off. And the third holiday that we have completely ignored because we preferred to chill in the sun with a beer. To be fair, Children’s Day is clearly only meant to be celebrated by children.
Although I did tell my classes how much I was also looking forward to it because it meant I didn’t have to see any of their annoying little faces for one day … they thought it was hilarious so I just smiled and went along with it being a joke …
Massages and Sushi
Asia is known for cheap massages but we hadn’t actually had one in China! We took massages in Vietnam, Thailand and Bali but for the past two years we just didn’t bother getting one in Beijing. However, this month it was our friend’s birthday so us girls visited a Korean massage parlour.
I soooo wish we had done it sooner! We paid 160RMB/£18/$24 for an hour-long full body massage and it was amazing. The rooms were beautiful, the staff were really helpful and friendly and I came away feeling battered and bruised.
Okay, that doesn’t seem ideal but it really did lighten my tight back and shoulders! There are plenty of other options to take, and they’re also cheap.
After the massage, we met the boys for our second sushi dinner in a week. We realised we are going to miss 6RMB/£0.70/$0.90 sushi so much when we leave China!!
Peking Duck Dinner
Peking Duck is obviously the most famous food in Beijing. When our company invited us out to have dinner with them at a Peking Duck restaurant, we couldn’t say no! It wasn’t just duck that was served either. There were so many other dishes that we didn’t even know what half of them were!
At the end of the night we even took the duck bones home so we could make a soup from it. Usually the restaurant either fries up the bones or makes soup but I wanted to have a go myself! As you might imagine though, the next day I forgot about it and just had to throw the whole thing away. If you do ever go to a duck restaurant, make sure they make up the soup for you because it’s one of the best parts of the whole meal!
Living in China for two years means that we absolutely can’t go home with no gifts for our families. The trouble is, we have actually been looking pretty much since we got here and everything tends to be too tacky, too heavy or not Chinese enough. It’s already June though so we decided that we really needed to get our arses in gear because it might mean that we need to add another suitcase to our baggage allowance next month!
We spent a whole day wandering up and down the hutongs, playing tourist and actually managed to get some cool presents to bring home. If you’re ever in Beijing looking for some gifts for either family and friends back home or even just yourself, take a trip to Qianmen Street and don’t forget to haggle!
If you ever come to China to teach English, make sure you join a cool company like ours! We were invited to go to Inner Mongolia at the beginning of June with the staff and other foreign teachers for the weekend, as a thank you at the end of the year. It was a long five hour trip there, but we had such a good time.
We saw some gorgeous scenery and were driven around in Jeeps across the bumpy landscape, plus we went horse riding! The hotel put on a traditional barbecue night too – with amazing food, unlimited beer (that was thanks to the company too!) and fun Mongolian dancing around a bonfire.
The night obviously ended in too much alcohol and some really cringy but hilarious karaoke from everyone, which definitely bonded us all! The next day we were taken to a kind of permanent fairground, with slides, a cable car, archery and even axe-throwing. Yes, we threw axes into wooden blocks with absolutely no supervision or rules.
After living next to a theme park for the past two years, we finally managed to spend a day there! Happy Valley is no Disneyland, but it’s actually a really fun day out. We went with the two other foreign teachers we met on the Inner Mongolia trip who only live like five minutes away from us. I’m not exactly a thrill seeker so for most of the big scary rides, I held the coats. But the water ride was literally amazing and we didn’t even have to queue.
If you ever go to Happy Valley, don’t ever go on a weekend and seriously don’t ever go on Halloween – I genuinely think the whole of Beijing descends on the park on the 31st October!
*wipes tears from eyes* *then pops more Prosecco* We’re finished!
No more children, no more planning lessons, no more ‘teacher, I’ve forgotten my English book’! It’s been a pretty good two years – we’ve been lucky with our schools – so it is sad to have left. The children also went crazy with making us little cards and gifts, which were all really cute!
It also means our departure from China is getting ever closer… and THAT means very soon we have to stick our poor little cats on a place… Lord help us!
Here are the posts we wrote in June, just in case you missed them!