My Experiences in Beijing, by Shauna Giblin

Beijing, where do I begin. I came to you looking for something that was missing in my life instead I found the real me or a version of me that I didn’t realize existed. My friend told me that the city has a way of making you grow up. I mean I’m 25 years old I really should already grown up, but where’s the fun in that.

One of the most common experiences I have had is staring. Its a very common thing and it can be unsettling when you first arrive. The reason they stare is because for most Chinese people this is the first time they are seeing a westerner. After a while you don’t tend to notice it. But it this staring that has made me braver and stronger.

See I have birthmark on my face. At home, you would never see me outside going shopping or to the gym without make up. It was something I didn’t like because of the staring. When I came here and people were staring anyway, it didn’t bother at me. Don’t get me wrong it was weird and hard but they would stare at me anyways. After a while I actually didn’t know whether they were looking at how pale and pasty white I am are my birthmark.

This experience is something I am grateful for. It is something that has made me stronger without me even realizing it. When you are so far away from home, it is always good to find a silver lining and in Beijing there is plenty.

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