May 2019
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Beijing: Week 11 and Farewell

All good things come to an end, like this cyclist's ride, which ended a moment after when he fell off his bike drunkenly...
My final week was, by all accounts, lovely. I had committed to leaving China and, as such, dedicated my final days to enjoying Beijing as much as possible.

On Monday I was supposed to work at an event but was told I wasn't needed at the last minute, so I took some time to visit the Lama Temple, which had been on my list for weeks. It was an incense-filled visit to, what I think, is the city's prettiest temple with all of its Tibetan influence and its 85-foot tall statue of Maitreya, successor to the Buddha. The Portuguese president was in town for the event I was meant to cover and joined me (well, not really) at the temple for a visit. Check and check.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Beijing: Week 10

One of my favorite images I took in Beijing...
By now it's no secret that I'm out of China, but I still had a few days to enjoy Beijing before I peaced out to the U.S. The entire cultural aspect of living in this city never got old, and I made sure to immerse myself in it as much as possible.

I did one last epic walk past the lakes and through the hutongs, taking advantage of another seriously sunny day. I oriented myself towards the bell and drum towers, some landmarks that were cute enough to explore before doing some shopping at the super touristy Nanluoguxiang hutong. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Beijing: Week 9

The Bund at night...
Well, week 10 was not so much about Beijing as it was about Shanghai. I took a long weekend to explore my neighbor to the south, taking the train about 5 hours through some unremarkable landscapes, ultimately arriving at what would become one of my new favorite places.

For the record, Shanghai is amazing. Let's just start there.

Perhaps Beijing, in all of its cold, dirty, capital city drear, has lowered the bar for me, and my expectations for Shanghai were unfairly low. After three days, however, I was seduced. Maybe it was the post-colonial charm, the excitement of the skyline views from the Bund, or the food, or the cycling, or, more likely, all of it.