Day 1: Beijing, China
I’m thoroughly exhausted…right now I’m in the hotel, recovering from jet lag. Not that I have any jet lag — I’m ready to go out and start exploring this city right now. It’s been six years since I’ve last visited China, so it’s almost a new experience for me. A few things haven’t changed though, and some things have changed, but maybe not that much. Some highlights from today:
1) The traffic: I heard from the person who picked us up that there are stricter laws for traffic, but I still feel like I’m going to get run over. Or that I’m going to get in a car accident any second while I’m in a car. The people who drive NEVER give way to pedestrians. And they swerve back and forth into gaps, even when it would seem like a car wouldn’t be able to fit in there. And when we stop? There’s none of that stop-behind-the-car-in-front-of-you-so-that-you-can-see-the-back-tires thing. Nah, it’s almost tailgating. But the roadways are catching up to the United States! However, they have toll booths for every highway, so it actually costs more to go on a roadtrip than to take a train or the airplane. So, travelling? Don’t drive.
2) MY HOTEL! It’s awesome. My mom won’t let me go out alone and take more pictures…but here’s some of the room. It may look a little dinky, but it’s really good quality for something in China, considering what my dad stayed in last time…the service is good, but I feel like a weirdo when I say “thank you” or try to help. The people in the little restaurant we went to (I’ll get to that later) just shouted stuff like, “Waiter! Get me some chopsticks.” I always said thank you and stuff, but the others never did. And then when I asked if we had to give a tip, because I thought the restaurant’s service was pretty nice, they’re like, “No, you never give tips at these small, cheap restaurants. It’s just not worth it.” I guess you learn something new every day?
But the hotel service people were very nice. The guy that helped us with our bags looked submissive. But he was nice. I liked his uniform. It had an awesome cap with it.
3) I saw the area where they filmed one of my favorite-est Asian dramas. One part is in Beijing, and I recognized the bridge that the main guy pedaled over!!! I was very excited!!!
4) The restaurant had yummy porridge. I got sweet rice with mango porridge, and it was delicious. We already ate a lot on the trip in the plane, so I just ate a cucumber, the porridge, and a bowl of vegetable soup (it was very good, by the way). For food, I’m planning on to visit at least a hot pot restaurant and a Peking roast duck restaurant.
5) I “investigated”. American culture is seeping into Chinese teenagers. While in the car, I saw skinny jeans, sagging pants, backwards turned hats, etc. I saw a lot of solar panels too, especially on the sides of the office buildings. I wish I had some pictures to show, but unfortunately my mom didn’t let me take out my camera a lot in case it got stolen >< Yeah, a lot of thieves in China. The Beijing Airport (I have no idea what it’s called) is HUGE. And it’s gotten renovations, like it’s parking lots. They’re so nice and easily accessible. Once again, they’re slowly catching up to American airports.
6) Clouds. In the air, it’s like a whole new landscape of clouds. I’ve never really noticed how awesome it is when the sky is clear and the clouds are PUFFY. I found a kitten licking a kit (but that changed into a giant mouse eating a kitten with a small dog looking on the side), an oversized hippo, etc. It’s amazing. And the best part was, I never get plane-sick, so I can always look outside and watch the clouds.
Tomorrow, I’m planning to go to Tian Tang or Gu Gong (not sure which one…and not sure of the English translation…the first one is Heaven’s Gate or Tower or something like that). Then I’m going to get my hair cut (the Asian stylists are
always the best! ) and roam the streets. And today, I saw the Chinese students walking home from school. Maybe if I stand out there at the same time tomorrow, I can actually talk to them this time. That would be fun.