A Springtime Visit to Beijing – Meeting Old Friends and Making New Ones

Lilac blooming in a Beijing inner courtyard, 2016.“A journey of a thousand miles
starts under one’s feet.”

Laozi, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64

I just returned from a short but very busy trip to Beijing. Spring had already arrived there and cherry trees, magnolia, and lilac were in full bloom. It was still cold at night but nice and warm during the day. Unfortunately, we just barely had the chance to either enjoy much of Beijing’s parks and life there or inhale the special atmosphere in its wonderful temples, but we had days full of sunshine and without smog. Of course air quality could have been better and traffic less, and I could have done with a little less noise too, but what can you expect of a megacity of more than 20 million people?!

However, what still always surprises me is the friendliness of the people and the respect and warm welcome they give us. In all of Beijing’s hustle and bustle, I’ve never felt lost or unsafe. We have met old friends and also made new ones, and I hope I will call them so many years to come. New doors opened and I believe exciting projects will follow upon this short visit. It is too early to tell more, but I will be back in Beijing later this year. And wherever I will be until then, a little bit of Beijing and its people will always be with me.