19 May 2011

Capturing the Sun + Grooving in the Boutique Bar

Today, we bought souvenirs at the Friendship Store + then went to the Sun Temple (Ritan Park, otherwise known as 日壇). After taking a nap back at the hotel, we took a taxi to meet our friend Anne Li + Judy B. at the Bookworm bookstore, a favorite haunt for anglophone expats in Chaoyang Qu. From there we went to a hip Boutique Bar (where you could order Japanese food--holler!), drank stiff, pricey cocktails + then walked through expat alley before saying goodbye to our friends + really, Beijing.

A few other things I’ve noticed in Beijing:

17. I may have written this already but it’s worth repeating: I feel like Chinese people stare a lot. And while I’m pretty much unfazed by it + have been since living in West Africa (salut, tubabu!), still, sometimes I’m amazed at how blatant the staring is, especially at LB’s pretty face + her little flowers in her hair

18. Some of the scams you read about in Beijing are totally true

19. I’ve seen people with totally mutilated bodies lying on the sidewalk with tin cans held up in the air + it just fucks with me. I feel bad + confused + manipulated + concerned + bad ad nauseum.

20. Not only do many Beijingese spit all the time, but I’ve seen quite a lot of throwing up, by businessmen, babies, you name it. Maybe it’s just my random experience. But still.

21. Another cliché that’s not a cliché: The Chinese really do love to smoke.

22. I’m not gonna lie: I really miss my diet back in LA

23. I’m astonished (horrified) the way some Beijingese treat the sidewalks like their trashcan. We’ve seen families holding their infant in the air as he pisses onto the sidewalk, I’ve seen people throw away cigarette wrappers + corn-on-the-cob + plastic bottles on the sidewalk when often there’s a trash can three feet away. I mean, LB + I actually saw people littering the Great Wall of China, which is one of the seven wonders of the fucking world!

24. The Chinese are really loud. I can’t tell when they’re animated + when they’re arguing because it sounds the same to my untrained ear.

Pics of Chaoyang Qu, the Cool Boutique Bar We Went to + Our Friends, Anne Li + Judy B.:


Bea Mantovani said...

hmmm, good to know people in Beijing behave the same way they did 13 years ago when I lived there!

JACKSON BLISS at 水と魂 said...

God, in a fucked-up kinda way, I'm really glad to hear you say that because I was starting to think that I've become insanely ethnocentric. When we were kicking it with friends in Beijing--both Sinoeuropeans--I was painfully aware of how, when I talked about the things I didn't like about China, I sounded like an ignorant, judgmental, close-minded American, except that some of the shit I was talking about--a lot of it really--is true, at least in some instances. One thing I will say, is that Beijing's subway is fucking great, just way too crowded!