In China, a lot can happen in a short time
Last year I visited Beijing after I hadn't been there for two years. I wanted to go to my favourite restaurant - a simple muslim hole-in-the-wall - but found the whole block of buildings had vanished without a trace.
A week or so ago I returned to Shanghai after a summer back home, and I found out it takes only two months of absence to see noticeable changes in China. A quick internet search tells me Shanghai's economy is growing at a pace of nearly 8%, and it shows.
Tall buildings interrupt the skyline where I'm sure there was nothing but air before, and new shops have replaced old shops (which themselves weren't that old to begin with). Daxuelu, the street one block in front of GoEast, probably has twice the amount of shops and restaurants it had last September.
As I'm writing this there are men hanging up new signs on the front of the GoEast building, right above the awning, which is also new. But the best new thing is that, next door to GoEast, the board game shop has left and a bar has taken its place, which means you can now go for a beer right after class.
Kevin writes columns for the GoEast Blog on studying Chinese, Chinese culture, and life as a foreign student. He has studied China and Chinese for over five years, first in his home country the Netherlands, then in Beijing, and now attends Fudan University's Chinese Society department.