I was looking at a calendar today and realized that it was exactly two years ago that I first arrived in Beijing. This is one of the first pictures that I took. Upon returning home, I wrote this post to capture the feelings of those first steps on this far side of the world. Strange to look back on that trip and reexamine how I felt. Enjoy-
Arriving in Beijing
This fuzzy one looks better than it’s sharp counterpart. It feels more like Beijing.
I have a huge number of photos that will never find their way into a post, simply because they don’t have much of a story. I’m going to try and line a bunch up- To start, this is a picture taken on the edge of the third ring road. I have wanted to take this shot for a long time, and finally got a chance this evening.
Another frequently asked question about life in China has to do with travel in Beijing. A huge number of people connect some notion of bad traffic with life in this city. Take a look at the pictures below and judge for yourself.
These two pictures are taken facing opposite sides of a bridge that I cross every day on my way to work. Every day, the road looks like this, and not just at night. To go further, there are five other roads just like this (the huge rings that you can see on Google Maps), and all of them are just as crowded.
Have a question about China or living here? Send an email or leave a comment, and I will answer your query!
There has only ever been one place where I really felt I was home, and I have missed it every day since I left. I don’t think I could explain the conflict in this if I tried.
A number of people have asked to see what my apartment looks like- It still doesn’t quite feel right, but hey, I think its pretty good. We are almost at the center of the city.
If ever you have question about what it is like living in China, just ask, I will continue to answer some of the questions that I hear from time to time. Enjoy-
After Dali, I made my way Northwest to Lijiang, a tourist hot spot. I had a few adventures and a whole number of pictures from Lijiang, but those will be included in an upcoming post. For now, I wanted to share a single photo that I took while I was on the trip. I almost forgot about it, which is funny as it is easily within my top five favorites that I have ever taken.
I was walking through one of Lijiang’s street after spending the day exploring. There are very few lights in certain parts of the Lijiang old town, and, at times, it can be almost completely dark. As I found my way back toward my hostel, I passed by this small shop and took a picture in almost complete darkness. I wasn’t sure if it would turn out any good, but I proved to be most interesting.
It is, by no means, the clearest photo that I have taken, but I could care less. When I took the picture, I did not see the fantastic details that exist in the background, the pictures of musicians and performers who were obviously collected by the metalworker who used the desk. It is a small piece of the secret lives of Chinese, a foot inside of a world that I don’t have much knowledge of. I have spent much time wondering who these mystery people are, these images within a picture. I’d like to think that I will never find out.
Terrible Picture, but you get the idea-
I get on the bus almost every day, and for the most part I do so at the same time, and yet it is very difficult to predict how crowded the bus will be. This is due, in part, to fluctuations in traffic and unpredictable spacing between one bus and another. It is not atypical for one bus to be immediately followed by another of the same number. When I say immediately, I mean that the both arrive at the station at the same time. The hilarity of it all is that even if two buses do arrive simultaneously, almost everyone will fight to get on the first bus, and the second vehicle almost always remains spacious.
There are other occasions, however, where buses seem to be few and far between. This is always a test for the nerves, standing and watching the crowd of passage hungry people grow around you. Even the oldest of Chinese are fully capable of pushing you out of the way when it comes to getting on the bus during rush hour. On the day that I took this picture, the bus was especially bad, but this kind of situation happens at least once a week. If the bus is more than 10 minutes late, you are doomed.
The bus is an excellent place to observe the greater Chinese populace and their social habits. It is a large enough topic that it deserves a post of it’s own, which I will hopefully write in the coming days.