I hope you’ve had a lovely November! Wow time is going by so fast here it’s insane! I can’t believe it’s time to sit down and write about my month again. November has been an incredible month for so many reasons! We had our mid term exams which was such a relief but now we’ve got our finals in December so I’m currently very stressed! There’s been fabulous social events as well which I’ll talk more about.
Bethany has been one of my closest friends for a while, we went to school together and even went to the same part time uni classes together last year. I love her a lot and her mum is one of my favourite people ever. Obviously I had to pull out all the stops for her 18th! Every year she gets a Colin the caterpillar cake from M&S and this year was no different (kind of). I spent the day going around bakeries in the city asking if anyone could make a custom cake and I finally found someone to make it! We sat and designed it and I couldn’t wait till she saw it.
Bethany also loves a band called The Kooks therefore when I saw that they were coming to China I obviously had to get her tickets! I booked us on the first class fast trains to Beijing and we were staying in a beautiful 5 star hotel that her mum had booked for us! It was really lovely. Unfortunately the Kooks cancelled last minute but we still went.
Honestly it may have been a blessing in disguise as it gave us the chance to really explore the capital and see all the cool places it had to offer. We agreed that we were going to have a weekend that we normally wouldn’t if it wasn’t Bethany’s 18th so we scouted out the fanciest places in Beijing and made our way round them.
We found a lovely place that had live jazz music and the menu was so impressive. We then went to the highest rooftop place in Beijing which was insanely fancy I honestly can’t even describe the level of luxury this place was. It went hand in hand with proces so we didn't stay too long here. This was an amazing weekend and really gave me an insight on being an adult living in such a beautiful place! And the blueberry French toast in the morning was such a change from the porridge I’d been eating! This weekend was definitely one to remember.
Taking the kids out
Jack, Alex and I went for lunch in a new Italian in one of the shopping centres near us. For back home the food would have been rubbish but since it’s such a luxury having European food we honestly can’t get enough. Nevertheless, I saw a really fun looking shop and with further investigation realised it was a trampoline and soft play area. I’m such a child at heart and begged Alex and Jack to come in with me. We had ice cream and went in and my goodness it was the best decision. It was so much fun !!!!!! Spending the afternoon forgetting about exams was so lovely.
We were invited to a Scottish alumni ceilidh for Chinese people who had studied at Edinburgh, Glasgow or St Andrews University. All the scholars went so it was almost like our prom. Going to class on the Friday morning the girls had no makeup on, Alex and I had tanned and my hair was in pin curls. It was so exciting. As soon as class was over, 下课, everyone rushed to get to Beijing.
Alex and I booked a hotel for us and as soon as we got in we only had around an hour and a half to get ready and for this kind of event we’d normally take 3 so it was a rush. We had a good playlist on and got ready.
We arrived at the hotel, The Peninsula and it was absolutely stunning! After standing having drinks and a few mini pastries we headed into dance. I never did any Scottish dancing in school so I went with the attitude that I was very much just going to socialise, however, when the music started I couldn’t help but join in. My first dance was with Fan who is from CISS which was so lovely. The night was so much fun and honestly something I’ll always remember. Having all of the scholars there and being able to socialise with people who’d been to the university I’m going to next year was great.
St Andrews Day Ball
Every year I looked forward to seeing the scholars at the ball! It’s something I’ve always been so excited about! I even bought a dress for it before coming (I ended up buying a dress for the ceilidh off taobao and swapped them so I didn’t end up sticking to my plan). This year the scholars weren’t invited (lol) so 10 of us who wanted to go bought a table which was around £1000. This was so worth it! We had a 5 course meal including haggis which was beautiful.
The event was so full of important people it was crazy. I spoke to the man who owed the wine company which was being served, someone in property who knew Donald Trump, people from the British embassy and so many more.
The dances here were so much fun and once again and I had an incredible time. The hotel was super fancy which really emphasised how elite the event was.
Fashion and clothes!
As the winter months have come creeping in, everyone’s wardrobes have drastically changed.
I’ve noticed a lot of massive puffy ankle length jackets which we call sleeping bag jackets. We’ve found a winter clothes market where a lot of people have been able to buy things like jumpers, blankets, jackets and even dressing gowns! I don’t let the dark months effect my clothes much as I’ve brought a few neon jumpers which are so cosy and bright. Jack and I have been swapping clothes a lot recently and we both wore one of the jumpers as you’ll see below. As I’ve realised you can still have a nice outfit despite cold temperatures as long as you layer.
对不起 I know this blog is long, I honestly do try to keep it short and if you’re reading this you’ve made it far so well done!
Having nights away like the ones I’ve had in Beijing this month have been so amazing but the feeling I’ve got coming back honestly feels like home. When we get back to our dorms and see the people we haven’t seen in 24 hours is honestly so nice.
I’m actually starting to get sad about coming home already! I know it’s not for ages yet but it’s so amazing here I can’t imagine not living like this anymore. I love the family we’ve got here and I love the lifestyle here. I’m also addicted to bubble tea which I get ordered to the lobby most days.
The new scholars have been picked! It’s crazy, it feels like yesterday that was us! If any of the new scholars are reading this then congratulations! That’s so exciting! If you have any questions at all I’m always open to talking to any of you, I know I had so many when I was first picked.
Anyway! Sorry I’m really milking this, thank you for reading this month's blog, I can’t wait to be sitting here in a month's time telling you everything I got up to this month (December).
Also to my family ( 我的家) I miss you guys ! And my beautiful dog who I got to FaceTime yesterday.