Summer has arrived

We finally are having some nice warm days here and we can wear short sleeves instead of winter jackets against the cold. The sun is shining, the lawn on Campus is turning green and bushes are blooming.

Blooming apricot tree
Blooming apricot tree, photo taken on the trip to Chengde.

A few weeks ago we already had some trees blooming in front of our faculty building, but by now it finally stayed warm for not only a few days. But the Chinese told us, that right now the weather is still enjoyable, in the summer it will be burning hot. Nonetheless, the transmission from winterly cold to warm was quite short. “In Beijing spring and fall are not very long”, said a Chinese friend lately, and she definitely was right.
But there is going to be a problem for Chinese, especially girls: The beauty ideal is to have white skin. So you can buy all kinds of whitening sunscreen and people avoid being in the sun for too much time. When I went for a walk with my language exchange partner at Weiming Lake, it was hard to find a place to sit in the shade – the ones in the sun were all empty although it was not that hot, so that one could not stand sitting there. It’s just that Chinese are afraid to get sun-tanned.

Last year when I was in Taiwan, it was much hotter than it is right now and some people even wore a jacket when they went across the street to buy something to eat – just to not get any rays of the sun reaching their arms. Another phenomenon is using an umbrella against the sun. I have already seen some in Beijing, but not as many as I had seen in Taiwan. Well, I think there might be more when it’s getting hotter in the city. I’ve also seen some students using books as a replacement for a parasol: They just hold the book over the face – looks a little funny to my eyes.

Summer scene on campus of Beijing University
Scene on Campus of Beijing University.

As the temperatures were rising I also thought that it was time for a hair cut. Other students have become a regular customer to hairdressers and have tried all kinds of different hair styles already. This is quite cheap compared to German prices, today I paid 10 yuan (1 Euro). Well, I guess I looked somewhat like I needed a haircut, because when I got to the hairdressing and massage shop today, the person opening the door was simply asking me “lifa?” (“Haircut?”)…

Tomorrow I will buy a monthly ticket for the summer palace (颐和园, Yiheyuan). It’s just 33 Yuan (ca. 3,30 Euro) and will be valid throughout May. This student price is relatively cheap as the park is one of Beijing’s most visited tourist attractions, but the ticket can only be bought during the last few days of the months before and requires a photo as well as a valid student ID. Since from our university it less than 10 minutes by bike, I hope I will have a lot of chances to go and enjoy the park either by walking or just to relax.

However, I guess next week won’t be too relaxing: Despite having next week off because of the May holiday, I will hit the road to travel along with some 150 million Chinese. We already booked the rooms where we are going to stay, but the train for the way back might be tricky. Without some “special relations” it is only possible to buy the tickets four days in advance and the tickets for the long distance trains usually are sold out very fast. But I’m very confident that we will get back to Beijing – the one way or the other!


2 Responses to “Summer has arrived”

  1. Olga Says:


  2. beijing07 Says:

    我還是忙著去旅遊,昨天從五臺山才回來了. 好在我一直到七月底都沒有中文考試,要不然我就不能去旅行那麼多次. 老實說,我正在學得不太認真,複習得太少…

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