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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Beijing: Week 7




This bear, I tell ya, he gets around. Week 7, which feels like eons ago, took us to Olympic Park, site of the 2008 summer games. The Chinese were going bonkers over the blossoms on the trees, and I admit it was rather pretty. After a few photos, though, I felt the need to move on with my life.

We found the Bird's Nest, the iconic stadium, and Teddy posed like the ham he is. The park itself is underwhelming, apart from the blossoms, I guess, but it was fun to walk through and imagine all of the athletes and international stars who once walked the very same park. I have been in Olympic parks and stadiums before, but this one felt bigger, like Beijing was really trying to impress someone.

They've got the winter games in 2020, so I guess it worked.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Beijing: Week 6

These clowns...
Another week, another story. Last week I joined a group of professional tourists to go visit part of the Great Wall. Waste no time, right?

Mutianyu is one of the most famous parts, but it's not actually that touristy. Not yet at least. A large portion of visitors are international travelers. Michelle Obama and other First Ladies and dignitaries have visited it, but it's got less kitsch than a more well-traveled part like Badaling. OK, so they did take us into some sort of 3D history experience that I could have done without, but the wall itself was as expected. Stunning.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Beijing: Week 5

We had a day, Teddy and I.
I don't know what was better this week, visiting the Temple of Heaven or winning pub quiz. Given that one rewarded me with some UNESCO heritage architecture and the other rewarded me with a keg of beer, I think it's pretty clear.

The photos are highlighting a very blue theme in Beijing last week. Strolls back from the flea market and through the park at the Temple of Heaven were once again reminders that air pollution is not a constant problem here. Near-constant, but not constant.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Beijing: Week 4

Sun, food, hutongs, and my best friend...

It's been a month in China already. Time flies, sure, sure, but I've been keeping busy. Well, not at work, because that's a different story. In Beijing, however, I am making sure I don't waste any time trying out new things, and last week I did pretty well.

With beautiful weather and smog-free skies, I devoted Thursday and Friday, technically my weekend, to exploring. I booked a food tour through Airbnb Experiences with Danny, a longtime resident of Beijing who knew his stuff. He walked me through a typical Beijing street lined with eateries that I would never have gone into myself.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Beijing: Week 3

798 Art Zone, you had me at dinosaurs...

Weekends don't exist in Beijing. Not for me at least. So on Thursday and Friday I went exploring, organizing my own cultural excursions to be, you know, like, cultured.

First I went to the 798 Art Zone, an old factory area repurposed for art galleries and just the right amount of hipster nonsense. I basically just strolled it until I hit my steps for the day. I ate mediocre beef and noodles outside in a little alleyway cafe because the weather called for it.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Beijing: Week 2

The first grocery haul...
Well, after a food-filled first week, the second week landed me in the office, working regular 9-5 shifts. While the job isn't (ahem) exactly what I thought it would be, Beijing has been kind to me.

The internet has been rough lately because of big government meetings, so this post is a bit late. Week three is almost over! But for my own sanity and, I'll recap last week (my birthday week!) and my introduction into the world of my new job at CCTV.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Beijing: Week 1

My new life...

Well, I landed. Beijing, it's going to be a real treat. 

The flight was long, the leg room was limited, and the bags were heavy, but it has all been worth it. After one week in China, I have settled quickly, although with no guarantee whatsoever that I am doing anything right. But hey, the dumplings keep rolling my way, so no complaints yet.