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The One In Which She Went To Beijing

To summarize my activities over the past week:

- tried not to discreetly kill my spoilt younger cousin.

- bought a black dressy-ish trenchcoat (what is it with me and trenchcoats?).

- dyed my hair 'burgundy' red, so the colour chart said.

- flew to Beijing. Started my period that day, so cramps on the plane was really really unpleasant.

- discovered that there are places with a blue sky in China.

- visited the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Heavenly Temple. Did not quite understand why people felt a huge portrait of Mao Zedong is necessary to adorn the front gate of the Forbidden City. Have passed through more security checks in the Tiananmen Square area than I have in a lifetime. Apparently people like to bomb/graffiti Mao Zedong's tomb if given the opportunity. I contemplated possible ways to smuggle flammable items into the area that may possibly bypass these checkpoints.

- discovered that Beijing, while still quite dusty, is significantly cleaner than Guangzhou. Except that people still randomly spit on the street.

- people seem to really like dogs in Beijing.

- people tend to be friendlier in Beijing than in Guangzhou.

- people tend to actually respect queue ettiquette in Beijing. In Guangzhou, you push your way into the line just because you can.

- discovered new things about my relos that I never knew before. I have an aunt who is one of the top ranks in the police force and specializes in things like developing the anti-forging watermarks/special inks/chips you find on passports and border control stuff. I forget the official term. But she is one of the rare women sitting at the top and earns a lot of money, which she doesn't even need to touch because the government pays for everything - her accommodation, food, shuttle to work, etc.

- discovered my fear of heights is very strong indeed at the Great Wall. Could barely walk one section without getting cold feet.

- discovered that warmth and comfortable clothing is far more important than looking nice while travelling. That being said, I did buy a more flattering down jacket than the one I was wearing, which is my grandmother's and makes me look like Marshmallow Man that took a dip in a raspberry vat.

- rediscovered my dislike for tour groups.

- rode a rickshaw into 'Old Beijing'.

- admired ancient Chinese architecture.

- learnt to bargain for stuffed pandas.

- got gypped in the city into buying crappy photoshopped photos. Meh. You win some, you lose some. My parents can't tell the difference between good photoshop skills and bad photoshop skills. I watched them plaster my head onto someone else's body and get Levelled to death.

- on that note, Beijing-ers tend to be really aggressive sellers - some will literally accost you the moment you cross the threshold into their shop. Guangzhou-ers can be as aggressive, but you can get them to leave you alone somewhat when you tell them you are just looking.

- flew back to Guangzhou again. Will be forced to wear a white polo and pose for a mass family portrait thingymabob tomorrow morning. I anticipate this event to be very unpleasant or at least extremely awkward. Oh well, can look forward to buying cheap stuff afterwards. BUAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

;__; How is everyone doing? I'm getting sick of the PRC steadily (there is not much culture to be absorbed in Guangzhou and there's about two weeks left of this fuckery*) and I miss a hot water system that is actually adjustable. And toilets that flush properly. Well, at least I'm walking more. So the PRC is actually good for something.

P.S. *Fuckery as mentioned above - a lot of relos in one place is really annoying. Half of them hate each other, especially the older generation. The younger ones are generally spoilt or really unfriendly, period (oh, adolescence), and the rest are happy to bitch about the others but do nothing about it and pretend everything is fine and dandy.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
eur0philia
Mar. 30th, 2010 08:39 am (UTC)
Re: Asian relatives- it's not a true Asian family if you don't all hate each other yet pretend nothing is wrong at the same time.

Nice to see you're enjoying SOME parts of your ventures into Dim-Sim Land. I would tell you to download China's character CD for some atmosphere but I don't know what the firewall is like over there. You're not missing much right now since everyone's either finishing assignments or doing mid-terms but we'll have more stories for you when mid-semester break happens :D

Can't wait to see your dyed hair!
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