We’ve arrived in Beijing a little after 3pm on the eve of Chinese new Year. I get checked into a motel on the edge of downtown. Meanwhile Harry’s staying at his friend Yen Jie’s place. Yen Jie was worried that his apartment would be too small for the two of us. Thats fine with me cuz i could use some break time. If there’s one thing i needed wassome quiet time. Its been non stop go, go, go from the start. So, i get a few hours to chill out and unwind in my room and i immediately pass out.
Short but sweet. Nothing like a good power nap. Harry and Yen Jie are knocking at the door. I could’ve sworn i just fell asleep a second ago. Who knows what time it is. I’ve forgotten to bring a watch. I keep telling myself to buy a cheap one but then again who needs a watch when you’ve got a cell phone these days? I didn’t bring one of those either.
Beijing is another massive sprawling city, and as we head to the city center in our taxi i get my first taste of the bad beijing driving Harry’s been warning me about. Its almost pointless to have lanes because no one seems to stay in them. At one point our taxi was straddling two lanes for a good block. I couldn’t stop laughing while Harry just shook his head with disdain. Now the incessant honking is something i could do without but the one maneuver worth capturing on video is the right hand turn from the left hand lane. When it happens in San Francisco, my blood boils, but when it happens 3 times (in the span of 11 mins) its just priceless.
Note to self: need to make a bad driving video.
We grab real coffee at a cafe downtown. Its funny how bohemian decor always attracts the western travelers. I’m no exception. I’m a sucker for a beat up old couch and a wood antique coffee table covered in stains and National Geographics and New Yorker magazines piled about. Well, this place didnt have any of that but that was the feeling i got when we entered. Mind you, I havent had real coffee since Hong Kong (just a week ago actually 6 days) and to be honest i’m not much of a coffee drinker, but the scent of good beans, theeh uh-roma – that can play tricks on my head.
Not full delusional. not all butterfly effect, but i lose touch with reality for a second.
Anyhow, the coffee was ok. I had to pee so bad i didn’t really get to savor it. The waitresses directions were ‘go outside, go right, go inside and downstairs.’ Ok, simple enough. Its a huge shopping mall and the staircase is there on my left. At the bottom of the stairs it forks though and there aren’t any signs indicating bathroom. Long story short i chose the wrong direction and did my tight-leg walk for another 5 mins. I need to learn how to say bathroom in Chinese.
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