The first time the government told me I would be coming to China, I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be living in Beijing. The school of my choice was the Beijing Language and Culture University. Since this scholarship is for government employees and only for Xiamen, I had to come here. I must be honest and say that I was totally bummed out when I realized Jimei (集美) would be my home for the next coming years. What was so great about Jimei?
For starters, Xiamen (厦门), the center of everything that is fun, is about an hour away by bus, but half an hour by cab. I really hate taking the bus in China. Why? If the capacity is seventy people, they cram twice that amount on the bus. Bus rides are super uncomfortable. You have to be mentally prepared to be shoved around and even hear someone spit inside the bus. I kid you not.
Last year I only took cabs, but sadly, my boyfriend has tightened the purse strings this year. Besides, I think it’s time to change things up a little this time around. Never one to travel by public transportation, I thought maybe it was time to do something different. The time has come for me to step out of my comfort zone a little more
Oh, FYI, I didn’t take public transportation anywhere unless it was rented. Not because I am related to Ari Onassis, but because my Daddy is so FANTASTIC, he drove me EVERY SINGLE PLACE!
At first I hated Jimei, but now I have come to adore this little place.
Since Jimei is so small, everyone kind of knows everyone. Well, if you live in Jimei, that is. The owners of the restaurants I frequent, all know my name. So do people who work in salons, bakeries, book stores… I pretty much introduced myself to every single person, everywhere I went. It was the fastest way for me to learn the language and get to know some new people. Sometimes when I’m buying something or standing in line somewhere, I can hear someone yell, “Hey, Phoenix! How are you! Long time no see!” I love this place now!