I can’t believe I’m already halfway through my time here in Beijing. I feel like it was just last week that I landed here jetlagged and exhausted from my flight. I’ve definitely adjusted to the style of living here, and I feel like I’ve become somewhat hardened to things that would normally catch most Americans off guard, like spitting in the street, the squatting toilets, and the ridiculous crowds in the subways. I’ve come to accept it as the way things are, and it feels almost natural to me.

My life, I feel, is put on a sort of hiatus; I’m still working every day but I’m taking a breaking from my otherwise normal, American college student life: sewing clothes, biking to work, and enjoying a parmesan chicken every now and then. I’m in a city where I know no one and I’m surrounded by so much culture and diversity, and it feels like I left even planet Earth for a short time.

As a turn a new leaf in my internship and turn 22 this week, the fact that I will be leaving in three months has started to sink in. I will have to start shopping for the last souvenirs, visit all the tourist destinations, and say my goodbyes. Before I know it, I will be on a flight to San Francisco and then to Philly to finish school. But for now, I want to enjoy the rest of my time here to the fullest extent. There’s still so much to see and do…and I still have yet to have a legitimate conversation with the “white rice” guy.