Here again: too many events and situations to account for in detail. Nevertheless, an update is undeniably due.
Cousin Ola and Mohammad came! Having been away from home for close to seven consecutive months now, it was super nice with a visit from home, being able to speak some Swedish (although I was a retard some of the time and substituted the odd word for its English or Chinese equivalent. It sounds awful, but sometimes my linguistic brain seriously goes ‘ :S ’ here…), being a tourist in the city again, getting advice from older and wiser men, and to just hang. Another thing which was highly appreciated was how they spoiled me rotten with champagne, Swedish pick- and mix, FINNCRISP (GOD’S GIFT TO MAN!!!!), drinks and dinners out on the town, courtesy of Ola’s late nights at the hospital (puzz). I did make some (very small) reason for this, as I had pulled some strings to sort out Mohammad’s visa, but as Dad would say, it was precious trouble (det var kärt besvär). Awesome having you here, guys! 😀
Accompanying O+ M around town, I sometimes realized how Beijing might come off to a tourist: grey and kind of rough. All the things I love about China are things you benefit from if you stay here longer (limitless career opportunities, awesome ex-pat community and real golden nuggets as soon as you speak a little bit of the language/ have friends who do). This together with the thought that O+M would return to clean and organized Sweden, where people speak languages one understands, made me think of how veeery long I will have stayed in China, should I stay/ work here over the summer. For the first time in a long time (ever?), I felt a tad of homesickness. However, it there was a quick fix: some nights ago, the crew went to Wangfujing where I tried some fried scorpions and snake. Immediately, I felt the Chineseness stream into me again and I loved it all. The night continued with Marco S, Saija and I hitting the Wangfujing arcade and positively owning the shit out of the basketball- game. Back- back- back to the top of the world.
One of the nicest new developments must, however, be our new lecturer in Criminal Justice, the adorable Liling. Everytime I’m not feeling the idea of going into lecture for 3 h, all I have to do is open the door to her classroom where she happily greets every new student with a heartfelt Welcome! How are you today?, to fully appreciate all of her 180 minutes of teaching. On the very first lecture, she proposed excursions to the Summer Palace and dinners of hot-pots to get to know each other and to discuss Chinese culture. Next Monday, we might accompany her to a conference at the French Embassy, discussing Criminal Justice. She also invited us to another conference out at Fragrant Hills in April. I have never before (at my other two universities) met a lecturer who seems to appreciate and truly value her students the way Liling does.
Some of our legal nazi- classmates back home would surely not appreciate how she sometimes –ehe- strays from subject and starts talking about cultural treasures (jade pork??) which were stolen from the Forbidden City and taken to Taiwan during the civil war, but I think it’s a darn nice privilege hearing about her first hand experiences during the Tian’an men ‘incident’ in 1989, her take on the one- child policy and how she no longer works as a part- time attorney, because she was too hurt when one of her clients was sentenced to capital punishment and she was invited to witness the execution. She didn’t go.
Her tutoring may not be the most focused on hard legal text, but this I know: when the average professor talks, (s)he has the class’ attention for ~30 min after which everyone is in zombie-mode (foremost because it’s an unnatural teaching form?). The subject matter and material is only relevant to a very limited and strictly vocational field. When Liling talks, people listen, people participate and people discuss for 3 h straight without it feeling long, because they learn for life. China vs. West, y’all.
Now time for Bedfordshire, folks!