And to think, the only time I remember being robbed outright was back in 2006 when I was still studying in Ateneo and while I was with my blockmates, my laptop was stolen. Considering that I’ve lived in China for over a year and a half, this is the first time that someone has attempted to rob me. There is a small lingering doubt about the incident in my head, almost like I can’t believe that it happened so it must have been false, but instinct tells me otherwise.
Last Saturday evening, after dinner at a sushi restaurant and some bazaar shopping with my friend, we decided to head home to call it a night. As we were making our way to the bus stop (中山路站 – Zhong Shan Lu stop), me and my friend were in a deep conversation about a lot of things. In my left hand, I held a shopping bag. My right hand was somewhere near my hand bag. As we were already by the bus stop, I readied myself for any incoming buses headed towards the school by turning to my bag to take out my bus card. With the bag I was wearing at the time, I usually keep the bus card by the front pocket for easy access, but since my friend noted earlier that evening that the button seemed to be coming off. Instead of just feeling for the card like I usually do, I decided to look at my bag while I was taking it out. It was at that moment that I noticed that my bag’s zipper was already 1/3 of the way open. What’s more, I noticed a hand pull away and a man who was close behind me ducking behind the advertisement board.
I immediately told my friend that I thought I had almost been robbed.
Blue top from gift; Keys keys keys necklace from Accessorize;
Blue and brown quilted bowling bag from Mango; Black wedges from H&M
So a couple of days ago, I had dinner with 2 of my friends from my Beijing days. One was my roommate during my one year stint there. The other was a friend I met during my second semester, who was on a semester-abroad program from his US university. And yes, we’re all Chinese-Filipinos. Putting that aside, we were there as a sort of reunion-slash-bonding because my friend (the one from the US) was on winter vacation and was back in the Philippines and was leaving a few days after. We all hadn’t seen much of each other in over half a year, so it was great just talking about the good old Beijing days, and the future as well.
One was working. One was going back to studying and was thinking of getting an internship. And then there was me, the one was going back to studying in China. Looking at the 3 of us was looking at my younger self watching The Joy Luck Club over and over again, wondering when I would reach that age where me and my friends would be discussing our lives and how we’d all be headed in different directions. It’s really funny how things pass by so quickly. Part of me believes that I’m still that 13 or 14 year old who was in a hurry to get to 15 and 16, and another part of me can’t believe I’m turning 24 this year. It’s really fascinating yet aggravating at the same time, to have time pass by so quickly.
This line of thought brings me back to a dinner I had with my ICA-AdMU girls a while back. It made me think, a couple of years from now, we would all be having dinner or lunch together just like that time, but with our husbands and kids.
This decision of mine to go back to China for another semester, coupled with seeing friends growing up and moving to other countries, as well as seeing friends get married or engaged, just further underlines the reality that we’re all moving away and leaving our nests. It’s a bit scary yet exciting at the same time, especially when we know that there are certain realities that we have to face alone. Just a few years ago, I was still nestled snuggly in my parents’ embrace, protected from the world around me. But seeing the me now, taking on the world one language at a time, deciding to go to China alone and continue with my studies and hopefully to eventually find work, it’s a thrilling and frightening experience.
Deep down, I still feel like a kid. I feel so naive and unsure of the world. But part of me knows that soon, whether I like it or not, reality will catch up and force me into the big bad world.
You know, sometimes I wish time would just stop, that I can enjoy whatever it is that I have and am experiencing right now. Sometimes I wish, things would just remain the way they are. Like how relationships with friends are, or how cute little cousins or nieces and nephews are better as babies and toddlers than when they are all grown up. I wish so many things will last forever, yet I wish that I can have many more of these same experiences for the future.
Oh reality. I feel like I’m me, but I’m looking at a me that I’m not familiar with.
Marvel Comics top from Samuel and Kevin Beijing; Blue jeggings from Uniqlo Beijing; Knitted cream-colored jacket from H&M Xiamen; Brown platform sandals from taobao.com
I think it isn’t everyday that you can tell or show someone that you are your parents’ child. You can look like your mom or dad, speak like them or dress like them, but having interests or personalities similar to them is something I think is different altogether.
As a child, I often felt out-of-place in my household because I felt like I didn’t look like my siblings. Growing up, I felt that there were 2 things that connected me to my parents – my handwriting and my interest with languages. The first one is easy enough, my handwriting both in script and print is either very similar or is influenced by my parents handwriting. Even the way I write in Chinese is influenced by my dad’s style. The other is what some people may call a penchant for languages.Watching television often enough, copying accents was something that I liked doing, listening to my parents’ speak in their dialects was another.
Growing up in a household where you hear so many languages being spoken, it becomes a habit to pick up phrases and words here and there. Cebuano, Ilonggo, English, Tagalog, Mandarin and Hokkien. One of the things I’m thankful for in this South East Asian country where most people speak at least 2 languages. Now that I’m almost 23, and I resemble my father a lot, I can’t help but be thankful that my childhood insecurity in some way encouraged me to learn those languages.
Hi and welcome to my almost 3 year old blog and my crappy new (obviously photoshopped) introduction header! I just came back from a (more or less) one year stint in Beijing studying Mandarin. I miss Beijing and I’m back in Manila, but sometimes I feel like I left my heart in Peking. I really loved it there and all the places I got to go to, and all the things I was able to see and experience.
So how did the name dolldalera come about? Daldalera in Tagalog actually refers to someone very talkative, in other words me…someone who cannot stop talking. And well, since I started my blogs with a doll theme that began with Dresdendoll (the nickname my grandma gave me), I just combined the two.
My blog is basically that. A bunch of random things that just happen to pop into my head. My brain is really talkative, and on average, my brain never stops thinking about things to write about and things to discuss. It’s just one big mess of ideas and thoughts up there. My blog is an extension of that, online. I write about almost anything and everything that I can think of. Be it personal things, my travels, my interests or things that piss me off, and other random whatnots. I welcome you to view my entries if you’re interested in just about anything, and you happen to find my blog interesting or funny, or whatever. 🙂
I blog as a hobby and I use my blog to de-stress so I don’t have any routine posts. If you’re okay with subscribing to my blog so you’ll be updated when I update, then I give you my gratitude in advance. Just click on the side of the blog that says “Sign Me Up” to get you started.
Hope you find my entries interesting. Cheers!
5 days to go till a special day and I have no idea what to do. Sigh, I thought I knew and now I don’t.
In other news, my little sister and dad are here in Beijing. They arrived last Friday and I was able to go out and have dinner with them. So far during the weekend though, I’ve declined going out with them as I realized that they arrived at the wrong time. I’m seriously stressing about a lot of things – exam on Wednesday and the obviously changing weather. I am definitely hating the cold, the weather outside is not my cup of tea. Autumn clothes and winter clothes are fine and all, but not alongside this kind of weather. My clothes don’t seem to be drying as well, it sucks so bad because I don’t know whether or not my clothes are dry and they’re just cold, or they’re really just still damp. In other news though, my flatmate just told me that my landlord’s sister thinks the government might switch on the heaters sometime next week…hopefully. I’ve not been getting proper sleep because of the cold weather, waking up too many times during the night to move around and sometimes scoot closer to my flatmate. It sucks. So far, the most comfortable sleep I’ve had so far was the nap that I had in my dad’s hotel room awhile ago while he and my sister were out, and we had just finished a buffet lunch at the hotel. Soft bed and a warm environment, it was THE BEST.
Other than that, I’ve still been worrying about loads of things. Okay….frustrations frustrations. Loads of frustrations. I want to post about some of my Beijing adventures but so far, I can’t seem to find the time to do so.
Can I just say that right now, I’m feeling somewhat stressed and pressured. Seriously. Part of me is trying to make my subconscious realize the reason for my being here. Priorities, concepts, opinions about various things. It has to do with my environment, the people I’m around, something about time as well, and other things that need to be considered in the long run.
I know it’s a personal decision and everything but part of me can’t help but feel annoyed and aggravated, but somewhat relieved at the same time.
I guess I just need time to fully realize some things. I hope I realize it soon!
Welcome to my almost 2 year old personal blog that began when I realized that my personal blog on livejournal, is just too hormone-filled. I rant too much on that blog, seriously. This blog was born out of my discovering my more Chinese side, not only because of my course, but also because of my own interests. I call this personal blog, “thechinadoll” not only because I’m keeping in theme with my other blog, or because as mentioned on my other “About Me” page that my grandmother would be reminded of a doll because of my Chinese-like features, but also because I think of myself as a fragile china doll who is still unsure of who she wants to be. Sharing personal feelings on this blog allows me to show both my strong and weak side, my opinions and personality, and other things about me.
As you’re reading this, I could be in China. I’ll be there for a few months to study, and maybe eventually to work. As wordpress is probably banned in China, and getting access to wordpress is an uncertain reality, feel free to read through my older posts to get to know me more, or read about my Pages from China that includes both current (hopefully) and previous adventures in the Middle Kingdom.
Let me share with you my stories as seen through a doll’s eyes.
I was counting down to the estimate date that I’ll be leaving Manila to head to Beijing and I realized that I’ve got 5 and a half weeks left. That’s only half a week from my last count, but 5 and a half weeks sounds so much shorter than 6 weeks even with the slight difference.
Late last Monday I finally received my documents from TsingHua, after about a month and a half of all the worries. The weekend was not very nice to me as I was constantly worrying about the arrival of my documents. A friend of mine had to remind me that courier’s don’t usually service during the weekend, so my worrying was really uncalled for. I was up early on Monday but my documents had not yet arrived so I decided to sleep on it. It arrived around 5pm and I was ecstatic beyond belief.
I excitedly tore of the top of the package (I’ve never really received packages like this before, so it took me a while to tear) and discovered my documents inside. A little disappointed with the few measly pieces of paper inside, I had to remind myself that I was only applying to a program and not an undergraduate course of some kind (like when applying to university here – with all the welcoming documents and the like).
The autumn semester calendar.
I have 3 holiday breaks before the end of the semester – Mid-Autumn Festival, Golden Week (in celebration of Independence Day) and the New Year Holidays. Winter Break is not included as that’s after the term.
Included inside are visa reminders, including an estimate of costs I’ll be spending for one semester. O_O
Other than document-related needs for my enrollment, I’ve been spending the last few weeks preparing some of the things I’ll be bringing, most especially in preparation for the Winter season that I’ll be experiencing for the first time. A few days ago, my dad left for China, bringing in his bag a few of my winter accessories (scarves, gloves) and a few heavy toiletries (my special conditioner, etc.) which he’ll be transferring to a smaller bag and leaving in Xiamen, which my uncle who lives in Beijing will then bring with him back to Beijing when he goes to visit Xiamen the week after my dad leaves. That, to some extent, lightens the things I’ll need to bring with me.
In the picture above, I’ve placed in a small temporary duffel bag (which I’m probably bringing with me as well) a few things I’ve prepared so far. In case my memory fails me last-minute, my copy of Time Traveler’s Wife is inside for Beijing I-need-a-good-book use. Half of the winter accessories I have like coat, scarves and gloves are here (the others were in the bag my dad brought) in case something happens to the other bag. I’ve got a few notebooks as well for use there, because I tend to use notebooks when practicing my Mandarin vocabulary (writing them over and over again so I don’t forget) and also because I think some China notebooks are cute but are not practical for writing use. There are a few plastic bags there as well, because I use those for holding and carrying around things in my bag – like for shoes, and what will later be for my chargers and the like. That white plastic bag over there on the right on the other hand contains some meds I need, and also an emergency first aid kit.
These are a few thermal wear that I’ve already prepared. 2 tops and 1 pair of leggings…
which is of course from….
Marks and Spencer. A little expensive, but paying for quality products is worth it.
Emergency Numbers and Adds.
A few weeks ago I began tagging places to go to in Beijing, tourist spots and places of importance. I also started tagging important places like the Philippine Embassy, places where I can have my camera and laptop repaired, Churches, and other places. But because Google has been having problems with China, and I’m so afraid that my Google Maps location-tags will be useless once I’m there, I’ve taken the liberty of looking for the addresses and numbers of a few important locations, including the Philippine Embassy of course. Also, it makes it somewhat easier in case I’m riding a bus or a taxi and I don’t know where exactly I should be going, at least it’s already in my notebook for me to glance at.
And yes, in the picture, it says IMPORT instead of IMPT (as shortcut for IMPORTANT) because I didn’t notice that I didn’t finish the word and moved on to spell ‘addresses’. In fact, I didn’t notice it until I was writing this entry and was putting up the picture. Haha.
Excited much? 😛