My Beijing Obsession

A Vietnamese girl’s passion for Beijing snow

A glimpse of Beijing WTown aftern the first snowfall of winter 2020-21.

Beijing helped make my dreams come true. When I studied in Beijing, it heard my voice, accompanied me through the sunrise and sunset, witnessed my joys and sorrows, healed my pains, and gave me courage to move forward.

The beauty of Beijing is deeply engraved in my mind. Against the red walls and green tiles of the Forbidden City, sparkling snowflakes float down from the sky, falling into the hands of a woman in gorgeous hanfu (traditional clothing of the Han ethnic group). Seeming slightly melancholy, she looks far ahead, lost deep in thought. Like a classic image of a costume drama, such scenes often spring to my mind.

To me, who grew up in the tropics, snow seems as appealing as forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. After a night’s snow, everywhere magically becomes as beautiful as a fairy tale. Beijing’s roofs, trees, railings, and roads are covered by a layer of snowflakes so soft that they rustle if someone steps nearby. People have fun making snowmen, having snowball fights and drawing rabbits with their shoes. When it snows, I get excited like it’s a holiday. Maybe because it can’t possibly ever snow in Vietnam, I cherish every flake I encounter. In recent years, the snow in Beijing comes and goes quickly, so I simply stay for the Spring Festival.

Did you see the first snow in Beijing in the winter of 2020-21?

Pham Thi Anh

I saw it and touched it in person. Located in the outskirts of Beijing, Beijing WTown is a small town with many of the architectural features of the classical gardens in the historical city of Suzhou in eastern China. When snow falls, it looks like an exquisite landscape painting. On one side of the bridge, a boatman bellowed songs down the river. His resounding voice seemed to drive away the icy wind while attracting tourists. Some roared their approval, and some pulled their hands out from gloves to applaud him. We foreigners mostly stood grinning from ear to ear. On the other side of the bridge, a pair of black swans swiftly glided by. I still feel warm when I recall the scene now, and words cannot adequately express my feelings at that time. It’s a great joy roaming around and enjoying the gifts of nature with someone special. A scene like this is capable of relieving any amount of stress for tourists.

I love Beijing not only for its fascinating sights but also the precious friendship I established with international students studying here. Beijing is a place where students from various countries meet. Although it often seems like destiny when we meet, parting remains inevitable. Even though all good things must come to an end, everything has its season, and the time to come together will come again. Without sad goodbyes, our first impressions remain the freshest.

Many other moments inspire me to confess my feelings to Beijing. I know that these memories too will eventually dissolve into fragments of time, but so what? I love Beijing, always have and always will.

By Pham Thi Anh

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