A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about beijing

Summer Palace

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We went to the Summer Palace and I had never been there before, so I was really glad about that. It was teeming with people and the number of boats on the lake seemed infinite. Shylo finally got her fancy tea (for 200 yuan!) and that also became the running joke of the trip.
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We went back to pick up our bags and decided to head down to Ghost Street for dinner, where the number and size of restaurants is incredible. We had some barbecue again and went back to the train station for our midnight train to Datong.

Posted by baixing 19:03 Archived in China Tagged beijing summer_palace Comments (0)

Meeting up with Ranald

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Shylo and her dad got up early and I just couldn't do it. They went off on their own for the day. I had a leisurely breakfast and snoozed in bed until Ranald made his way down to my hotel. We went back to the same hutongs I was in last night, to find Mr. Shi's dumplings, supposedly the best in town, but I wasn't too impressed. The creative flavours like curry and fruit were interesting, but they were really expensive. We spent the rest of the afternoon at Punk Rock Noodle with some equally overpriced microbrew and then I headed back to find Shylo and "Uncle Joe" waiting up in the room.

I found out the Forbidden City was sold out for the day and Mao's mausoleum was closed. I think they still had a good day looking around at Tienanmen Square etc.

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We had some barbecue and beer at a beer garden on Wangfujing and called it a night.

Posted by baixing 18:49 Archived in China Tagged beijing Comments (0)

Back to Beijing again

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We all woke up early again and took the bus back to Beijing. I had learned how to use Baidu Maps specifically for this trip, because Google is so terrible and often totally wrong in China. I don't mind if I get lost, but I didn't want to lead anyone off the edge of a cliff, especially if they only had a few days to enjoy China. On top of that, I also didn't want them to leave frustrated from a place that deserves more love than it gets. So, the bus connections were fine and I don't remember getting too lost at any point (more than the normal amount anyway).

Back in Beijing, we stopped for a coffee, checked in, and went to the Lama and Confucius Temples. I waited for them at the Lama temple after going to the bank and getting the aforementioned hawthorn candies for a snack.
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Afterwards, I talked Shylo out of getting some fancy tea, and it became sort of a joke later. I felt bad, so we stopped in at a cat cafe instead.
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Then we walked around the completely tourist-swamped hutong area, where we got hot pot since it was cold enough for that. Another running joke of the trip. Ha. We walked all the way back to our hotel and had a good sleep.

Posted by baixing 18:28 Archived in China Tagged beijing Comments (0)

The Beijing dream is crushed


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"We have college position in Beijing." That's how I was introduced to what I thought was my new job in the megalopolis that is Beijing. I was going to become a Beijinger! Wow! Maybe I might stay in China for longer than one contract this time. Finally, I found a job that I liked in a city that had more than four foreigners to socialize with.

I packed way too many clothes and headed back across the globe. Two months earlier, my boss had even allowed me to move my things into my new Beijing apartment. I thought I was really lucky. I thought I had finally found a competent employer. With my visa finally in my hand, I showed up to work on the first day.

"You know will be teaching high school, right?" said Peter, the head teacher from Boston.
"Ummm no! Oh my god!" I replied shocked. "No, that was not mentioned in my contract or in any discussion once."
"Sheila strikes again," he laughed. Like misleading me as I move my entire life across the planet adds up to a funny joke.

Sheila was the recruiter that had promised me this "college" position. After guiding me through six months of visa hell, she was sending me to work with teenagers??? That was not going to happen. I sighed and said that I would try the job for a while, but later that day I got a messaged from my only friend in town, Chris, asking me why I was leaving. Well shit, if Peter wants to gossip and tell everyone I am leaving, then I guess I am leaving! I bitched Sheila out over WeChat and complained incessantly to Melody, the school's liaison.

Incidentally, the day I quit was also my birthday, so I invited all the teachers that would've been my co-workers over to my place for beer and snacks. Everyone brought more beer and more snacks than we needed and it was a great time. All of them told me that they too had been promised this elusive "college position" and had simply accepted their fate and the high salary for teaching the high school students. I was astonished, and can't believe that anyone would want to work for someone who had lied to them so blatantly.

Anywho, it was a shame that I'd be missing out on some decent colleagues. However, I'm sure that something would've happened to make me hate each and every one of them. For example, Brandon, a burly ex-sailor went home from my birthday party with everyone else. A few minutes later, I got an email from him, asking if I still wanted him to finish the beers. I said sure, come back over if you want, after he made sure everyone was gone. I asked him why he did that and he replied he wanted to be "discreet". What? Like I'm a craiglist hooker? Get the eff out of my apartment you sleazebag. After that smooth move he realized he wasn't wanted and left, without me having to even say so directly. So I guess that was good. Later he denied saying anything of the sort, and asked me if I was mad at him for leaving! Uh... no forget it you're a douchebag stop emailing me. I blocked him and that was that.

Posted by baixing 19:14 Archived in China Tagged beijing Comments (0)

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