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02 January 2008 @ 09:31 am
Two weeks in China: days 1 and 2 {Getting settled in}  
This post might be a little less interesting as the photo-ness goes, since there are not many. I'm going to be breaking up China into little manageable chunks of awesome, chronologically, so here we go!

Dec 15th, evening, I arrived in Beijing International Airport a few hours late, having made my poor friend (also my host), Greg, wait quite a while. I flew China airlines, and of the two times I've flown with them, they've been an hour late. Their movies also are mostly nonexistent, so I don't recommend them. However, I did get a nice seat in the exit row, so there was room for my long legs. ^^ While waiting for me, my friend busted a hole in the crotch of his pants doing stretches, which made for some interesting conversations. XD

I was quite tired, but we made it back to his apartment by the cheap taxis (starting at just over $1, seriously!!!) and I dropped off my things. Then it was off to eat!! We ate at a local place just down the street, with a new friend of Greg's, a guy that lives in Tokyo and was just visiting Beijing like me. :)

Let me say this about Chinese food in China. O.M.G. What the.. I've never really cared overmuch for Chinese food, my main experience being American-chinese buffets. Everything there is limp and tastes basically the same. NOT IN CHINA! The variety is amazing, and the dishes.... kyaa!! I'm completely in love! I really was blown away by how delicious Chinese food is in general. In fact, I want to go just to eat again.. >.>;;

So that night, Greg took us around to meet some new people, mostly ex-pats living in China. We stayed out really late soxializing, and it took me quite a while to fall asleep. But I had my own room, which was nice and warm, so it was really relaxing! ^^

The next day, we got up late and got an even later start due to the late night. I started making plans of where I wanted to go while we were still in Beijing, using some maps that Greg had given me, and his travel guides (though they were in French, which I can't read!). Since I wanted to buy a new travel guide, he took me to the Wang Fu Jing district, which is a bit like the Roppongi foreign-shopping area of Tokyo. Very upscale, very modern-looking. We took a freezing tour bus, and I was too cold to take picture, having not really acclimated to the absolutely freezing below-zero temperatures in China yet. But I did pick up an english Beijing guide, and some souveniers that I'll talk about later. Everything in China is so cheap!! To end the night, we went to a house-warming party for one of Greg's friends, where I met some really nice people that I hope to stay friends with. ^^ And then the night drew to a close!

I know that it's not super-interesting to people who weren't involved yet, but it will get better later (with tons of pictures!!), I promise!! ^__^

This is the street that my friend lives on. Very touristy, very cute! ^^

y first taste of chinese food turned out to be... blood soup! O.o

Mmmm chinese food!!

Greg, holding up a piece of fried blood! EWWWW!! It actually wasn't so bad, so I ate some, but in the end I couldn't eat much of it because it was just so strange... The funny thing is, apparently baked blood pieces are normal cuisine in France. So he didn't think to warn us (me or the other American guy) at all that we might be eating something strange. XD;;

Me eating blood... ^^;;; My hair looks stripey!! XDXD (It's not, but..)

The next day, taking the bus out towards the market.. Sooooo dirty! (more about that some other time)

We saw a Hooters! WTF? And how?

And the subway, also VERYVERY dirty! ^^;; (I never realized how clean Tokyo actually is!)

This is Wang Fu Jing, taken from the sightseeing tram. ^^ It got too cold, so I stopped taking pictures here...

Next post will be on.. the Great Wall!! =^o^= Otanoshimi-ni! But probably not until tomorrow. ^^
Zephonzephonator on January 2nd, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Fried Blood? o_O indeed!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 2nd, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah!! It was kind of the texture of that spongy beaten meat that some "chinese" restaurants serve in the states, so that's what I thought it was. Boy was I wrong!
Zephonzephonator on January 2nd, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
I hope you weren't eating some when you found out!

That could've been embarassing!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 2nd, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
Oh it was WAY too late when I found out what it was. I really thought that it was meat!! ^^;;
Zephonzephonator on January 2nd, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)

Is all that can be said!
Kira_Shadowkira_shadow on January 2nd, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
can I tell you that this is just one variety of blood soup?
you don't really wanna know the others...or the general way of preparing blood-dishes....

boy this sounds so wrong XDDD
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 2nd, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
LOL oh yeah I can only imagine, there are probably tons of strange kimochi-warui soups out there! ^_^;;
Kira_Shadowkira_shadow on January 2nd, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
you can say that again...
but there's also good food.

bah...I still owe you my cooking ne?
*saves up more for her trip to japan in 2009*
Panda Warrior Versus The Worldwarrior_panda on January 2nd, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
eee so hungry.

cant wait for the great wall
Bishies♥: Fufu Kaidoh|OHNOESEATENmikage_taichou on January 2nd, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
ahaha XD Blood! They also eat that here o__O only they cook it differently. They grill it here :0 and they call it 'Betamax' o__O

and China's subway is WAAAY cleaner than here XD<3
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 2nd, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
Weird!! Betamax! XDXD *makes note to stay away from that*
Bishies♥mikage_taichou on January 3rd, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
ahaha XDD yes~ and they also eat chicken gizzard :0

wtf my country's street food are weird XD
ルリ: coffeedemonruri on January 2nd, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
I remember my first eating blood, I was wondering why they served chocolate and my friends didnt tell me until after I had eaten it.
Saeriskippytoad on January 2nd, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
Just so's you know, Chinese buffet food is sort of at the low end of Chinese restaurant food here. If you want really good Chinese food in the States, try a place that is non-buffet and non-chain, or go to China Town in any large city (when you're back in the US anyway). ;)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 2nd, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I will definitely have to try that!! There was actually a restaurant in Phoenix that I tried that was really good, while I was in college. Whenever I go back to the states, I will make sure to check out a really good place. ^^
Amiyaxamiyax on January 2nd, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
Well, all I can say is that Shanghai's subway system is much cleaner *according to photo* I miss real Chinese food~
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on January 2nd, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
LOL that's good to hear! In summer 2009 I'll probably go to Shanghai and take a chinese language course (I wanted to do it this year, but the Olympics will make it too expensive and crowded, I think). It'd be nice if it's cleaner! Or I'll just have to stick with taxis again. ^^;;
Idyllka: haruhi smilingidyllka on January 2nd, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
Well You should see Polish buses, not every but the one line I am taking to reach school is almost everytime old and dirty and very, very noisy (lately there were new one but they suddenly, as the new year began, disappeared XD) and we do not have even a subway in our capital... That's why I hate Poland so much! It's not that Poland is so poor, it's just that the government rather buy new limousines for themselves or pay for bodyguards and expensive hotels to stay.
Well maybe I don't see it on Your photos.

In Poland there is also soup made of blood, yuk! I have never liked it, never! (;_; )( ;_;)

I love these stuff on trips: staying late at night talking with friends!!! (^___^) At night I am unexpectedly talkative and I also find many various interesting topics XD

looking forward to next note!
jenntheamazonjenntheamazon on January 3rd, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Ack! You ate fried blood! You vampire! *screams and runs in terror...then stops and laughs my ass off*

Looks like you had a lot of fun. :-)
long gone with her red shoes onredshoeson on January 8th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Love seeing all your pics! ^^