It's A Big World

and I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

Browsing Posts tagged Beijing

We went up the CC television tower for a 360 degree view of Beijing. It was quite amazing and apparently we were lucky as it was clearer than normal.  Apartment and business buildings rose from the ground as far as the eye could see. Of course that can be expected from a city with a population of nearly 18 million.

The guy squatting was an image frequently witnessed throughout China. I tried to do the squat but had a hard time standing back up!

The guys in the red hats were a tour group. I found it funny that tour groups wore the same colored hats – again, we saw groups of tourists with bright colored hats throughout Beijing…

The Hou Hai district was an interesting area of Beijing that had modern bars and restaraunts that surrounded a small lake and stream. Live music, karaoke, and interesting people made for an enjoyable afternoon/evening. Certainly a place that tourists wouldn’t know about.  Good thing I had a local to show me around.

Even though we ate at a modern restaurant, the facilities were not of western design. Note the traction on the squatty potty – don’t want to slip!

The square is situated right next to the buildings holding the top offices of the communist government. Across the street from the square is the entrance to the Forbidden City.  The square seems to be most known for the site of the Tiananmen Massacre. Primarily students and intellectuals were protesting actions of the communist government (1989) when the military stepped in and stopped the uprising through aggressive acts of violence. Some reports suggest nearly 3,000 people were killed.

Today was a low-key day and we used it to rest and prepare for the next week on the road.  Darren, Kevin, and I ate some McDonald’s this morning and ran around the neighborhood getting some last minute things done. Pictured is a McDonald’s delivery driver…using a bicycle of course. The other picture is one that is scene all around Beijing – a delivery driver of sorts.  It’s amazing what can be hauled on a little bicycle. Darren and Kevin had to get haircuts so I tagged along and got a head, shoulder, arm, and finger massage. Not a bad time.

We took a stroll through Kevin’s neighborhood and ate some traditional Chinese food. Actually this was the first traditional Chinese meal we’ve had since I arrived. We were going to head to the Silk Market again but didn’t want to stand outside and hail a cab in the rain. Instead we opted for watching episodes of the British version of The Office.  Pirated DVD’s of course.

We fly out at 3:45 tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon and we’ll be staying in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday and Sunday night.  After that…who knows!

My flight was long but uneventful and I arrived in Beijing at 11pm. Kevin was there to pick me up and we ventured straight to his apartment. After shooting the breeze for a bit I crashed.

This morning we went to Longtanhu Park and people-watched. For lunch we ate noodles with brown stuff that Kevin never did tell me what it was. Went to the Pearl Market, Temple of Heaven, TianAnMen Square, HuTong (old system of Beijing alleys). The picture of the building is of Kevin’s apartment. The picture of the street is from the front of Kevin’s apartment building. The view of the dilapidated houses is from behind Kevin’s apartment.

Later in the afternoon we cruised around Beijing riding two vintage scooters.

Eventually I’ll post pictures with descriptions but for now I’ll simply provide a few pictures from today.

My Southeast Asia Adventure begins in a few days and I’m not quite sure how to pack. I need to fit everything I need for two weeks into a backpack and still leave room for any souvenirs I want to bring home with me.

The itinerary as I know it is like this:

July 2nd – Fly from KC to Chicago and then the 13 hour flight to Beijing.
July 3rd – Arrive in Bejing
July 9 or 10 – Fly to Ho Chi Minh
July 16 – Fly from Bangkok to Kansas City

What will we be doing is still up in the air. I’ve listed some of the places we may be visiting on other areas of www.schieferecke.com.

While in Beijing I will be staying with my friend and former grad school classmate, Kevin. A South Dakota native, Kevin lives in Vermillion during the academic year and lives in Beijing for two months each summer and still owns an apartment there. He knows the lay of the land, the right people, the best places to eat, and most importantly – the language.

One of Kevin’s friends that lives in China permanently will meet up with us to fly to Ho Chi Minh. Another friend of Kevin’s will be flying in to Ho Chi Minh from Sioux Falls, SD and the four of us will begin the 800 mile trek to Bangkok, Thailand. Travel arrangements have not been made but we know we must make it to Bangkok within 5 days for me to catch my flight home. All we know is that we will be crossing through Cambodia and I hope to visit the Killing Fields museum as well as travel on the Mekong river.

I’ll post more as I know more!