We made it. The Fee and Ee Versus Asia Tour (Mark II if you count the few days we caught up in Beijing last year).
And what did we do on our very first day? We walked. And walked. And walked. It was like a day-long Les Mills Step class….we accidentally found and climbed every peak and tall temple in the neighbourhood, and they were some big ‘uns.
Beijing is a little different to last time I was here – way more pollution for one thing. There also seems to be more Tourist Whitey’s this time around, but that may have something to do with the hood we’re staying in. Having said that, this city is still wall to wall wonderfully enthusiastic country living Chinese folk, happy to be in their nations capital and soaking up the history through the smoggy haze.
I’m staying in a different part of town this time. Our hutong is in an odd pocket filled with endless bars for tourists, but side by side with a huge number of locals going about their business and living their day to day lives. Great place to feel like you’re experiencing Chinese life, but at the same time there’s tasty margarita’s and live music nearby for a holidaying lass with sore feet.
The people here still yell when they’re happy, and look at us warily in the street until we smile, then they’ll laugh back. There are still persistent hagglers roaming the streets, but that’s easier to deal with this time around.
It’s still My Beijing, despite how fearful I was of coming back. Single chairs lurk on unsuspecting corners with no apparent reason for being there. Everything is still held together by string. Men are able to sleep in the oddest of places without any self consciousness. The public transport system still kicks MYKI in the butt.
There’s still more to see than the eyes can drink in.