It looks like I’ll be in Beijing for a while. I have been offered the position of media assistant and events manager at Chambers, and I am going to take it! I received the offer formally (so to speak) on Friday night, after discussing with my boss all this week. The whole experience has been kind of surreal. Just last weekend was the River Flows East exhibition opening (more on that in another post, once I take some pictures) and I was an intern, running around unwrapping artwork and buying refreshments. Next week, I go full-time, and this morning, I took a call from Simon, confirming my contact information because I’m getting business cards on Tuesday! It all happened so fast, and I’m both awestruck and grateful to have such an opportunity offered to me.
This also means that I have many more logistical tasks/responsibilities to tackle in the next month or so. The two most important are my visa situation and living arrangements. I am on a 90-day, multiple entry tourist visa which needs to be updated to… something else by the middle of September. To what though, I have no earthly idea. The issues I’m confronting right now reinforce the idea that you can live very easily without having to deal with such issues for a long time. Things like bank accounts, utility bills, taxes (does China even have progressive taxation? Who knows, not I), and other things that would confuse me in English, I have to confront for the first time, all in Chinese. I’m not scared, per se, more like I feel the shiver of anticipation, of not knowing what to expect. Basically, the same feelings I had about moving to China, semi-sight-unseen, a month and a half ago.
However, I AM very excited to find a place to live. For those of you who don’t know, I have been living (admittedly, rent-free) in an old apartment belonging to my grandparents, who now live in a separate place to the north of Beijing, a retirement community so to speak. Where I live they used to live up until about six years ago, when they moved out of the city and into suburbs, where there is much more open space and the air quality is supposedly better. Therefore, this apartment has sat mostly empty since then – my uncle stays here when he’s not in Chengdu, Sichuan, his primary residence, but that’s really no more than a couple of weeks a year. It’s modern and convenient (and again, free), but not the most centrally located, especially in relation to my place of employment. By that I mean I spend anywhere from three to four hours commuting every day, and that’s only three days a week right now. To have to do that six days a week would probably kill me. Thus, I am looking to move closer. Those of you who know me know that I genuinely enjoy apartment hunting, so I am obviously looking forward to the next few weeks, at least in that respect.
Well, that’s about all for now. I’m now going to take a very self-indulgent moment to say, wish me luck!