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. ^^