January 1, 2013 : Last Full Day in Beijing : New Year’s Eve Update

We climbed Coal Hill in Coal Hill Park, which overlooks the Forbidden City. Then we went on a rickshaw tour of old Beijing, or Hutong area and met with a family who lives there. After lunch, we went to 798, the art district. 

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Elders practicing calligraphy with water

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Morning Tai-chi. We were fortunate enough to have a master teach us some simple steps, and we also danced with dance masters in the park, too. It was super random but super fun.

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The Forbidden City from the top of Coal Hill

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Rickshaw

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Our invitation to the New Year countdown.
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Before attending the event, we had a Korean BBQ dinner. It was so good. Funny though, because we’re going to South Korea next!
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The Summer Palace
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Bombarded with cameramen. Although they were more interested in the Caucasian students, it was still fun to have so many cameras on us.
 
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Better photos of the event. Courtesy of http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2013-01/01/c_132075221.htm
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Globalites!

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I usually don’t do anything big for New Years. I watch the countdown alone then go to sleep. This year is definitely one of the best New Years ever: I’m in Beijing, my group was invited as VIPs to participate in the countdown at the Summer Palace (also the first year the event is hosted there), and I celebrated with all my Global friends. It was the best night ever! I also found 1 RNB on the ground too! A great start to 2013 indeed! We also received a free backpack filled with goodies: earmuffs, gloves, a beanie, heating pads, balloons, light up pins and 2013 glasses, a flag, and some other stuff.

Today was a free day so I went to the Silk/Pearl market to do some last minute shopping and packed. Tomorrow will be our last flight to our last foreign country as Global ‘12 (besides our layover in Tokyo). We’ll be spending three weeks in South Korea and I just know that those three weeks will fly by. As excited as I am go to home, I don’t want this program to end. For one whole semester, we didn’t have to worry about anything. It was ‘go with the flow, tour all day, and having fun.’ [We also studied too!] Once we go back to campus, it’ll be constant studying and just the thought of returning to FOUR classes is a dread. It’ll be so hard to go back to normal life, and I honestly don’t know if I’m ready for it.

Time flies when you’re having fun! 

I hope that you all had a wonderful New Year, and Happy New Year, Happy 2013! I hope you make it a great year and have the strength and courage to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Keep your head up!

I’ll update soon from Seoul, South Korea!
Goodbye, Beijing!
-Thao 

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