Discover Beijing’s Surrounding Valleys

Not to long ago, I started this extra job as an English teacher since I got my work visa. I teach English in a kindergarten to 3 years old. Really?! Are you mental? Maybe. But it’s surprisingly easier then one would think. I will talk more about it once I get experience in it and get to make up my mind. I will make an article about the whole “teaching” experience. I never new much about kids and it was always a big question in my life, kids or no kids? No answer.

But for now, I will only talk about the mom of one of my kids.20170917021731_IMG_2215

I’m a bit of a runner and whenever it’s nice outside (note here, not polluted), I try to go for a run at the Olympic Parc which is close to my place. It happens that the mother of one of my kids is also a runner and so we started to run together. Only ran twice with her and we decided to make it a weekly habit. She’s quite good. And she’s 40 years old. Impressive I would say even. She started to run two years ago when she decided to get into shape. That means she lost close to 60 pounds by training and eating healthy. I get her since I lost 46 pounds the same way. Only difference is 10 years. I think it’s a lot more impressive for her than for me. There’s no age to get back in shape. Provided you do it for the only reason that matters. Yourself.

Anyway, last week-end, she invited me with her little family to a valley. I got to spend the Sunday with one of my kids, the mom and the dad. 20170917034148_IMG_2230And man… it was one of those perfect days. It’s a good thing I like also that kid. Smart, learns fast, well mannered. Every parent’s dream. And he’s only 3 years. He will probably become a serial killer later, but for now, he’s just a nice happy kid. I’m joking. He will be a fine young man. So the mom invited me and I said yes. Getting a ride to visit a valley outside of Beijing? Yes please! Turns out it was more then that. We arrived, met with another family (friends of theirs). Made new friends. Had an amazing lunch with a succulent BBQ rainbow trout with spices. Had a beer or two. 20170917_122017Perfect weather, no pollution. Charming and almost magical little place. This little family was so nice. First thing they did is tell me to feel like home. Like family. Are you surprised? We all say that. But they actually did it. Please note, only the mom speaks a bit of English. I used my phone’s translator to chat with them quite often. And it was all right.

After eating, we headed into the valley. Did I tell you the valley is also along the Great Wall? No? Well it is. Nice backdrop of the Great Wall around us. To get in the valley, you need a boat ride. Damn! Really?! Yup, boat ride.20170917020701_IMG_2206 So we took the boat, roamed through the valley, played with the kids, had fun on the suspended bridges and the most amazing part through all of this is that I didn’t see the parents act like parents. They became, for that short little while, kids. So did I. We had fun, explored, found bugs and fished a frog and other little creatures in the pounds. It was a very peaceful day. A refreshing day away from the city, daily life and all. I was not a teacher either. I was more like an uncle. The mom, Yan, calls me younger brother and wants me to call her elder sister. Hilarious!

I took some time to also think about a lot of things. It’s a great day to meditate a little about life, choices, why I got here, in China. mmexport1505651944469What’s the next step? I don’t really have answers for all of those. I have some answers. But having the questions means you are at least trying to understand. Which is more than your average Joe. I still think I need to grow up from all the recent life events I had. But slowly and surely, I feel like each step is bringing me closer to the mountain I want to climb. Big, solid, high and with a very nice view of the world where I can just smile at the sunrise or sunset. Maybe some of you understand, maybe you don’t. It doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day, we do our own thing and we can all be satisfied when we see those we love do well and feel better. So I hope you are also doing well and you have a nice view from your mountain.


Thanks to Joe, Yan and Hang Hang for the amazing day!

Dragos out!

Today’s item on the list :

  • Go for a hiking day in Beijing’s countryside.

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