day one in beijing
We arrived in Beijing late at night and only for the helpful Chinese man that sat next to us on the plane, we’d have had no hope of finding our way to our hostel.
We arrived at the hostel down some dark backstreet and we were hit by the fact that it was a dive. We were not looking forward to staying there. It was a very noisy night and we didn’t get much sleep, but we had a room to ourselves so at least had some privacy. The bathroom is delightful. Not! There is no shower cubicle and the shower hangs on the wall right next to the toilet and the sink. I’ll include a photo!
Today we went to buy train tickets to go to Xi’an on Monday. Not looking forward to that train journey. It is an overnight train and we will be sleeping on top bunks! I think I read somewhere that the top bunks are the ones where you feel like you’re in a coffin, as there is hardly any room above you. Oh fun! They were the only ones left though.
We also visited Tiananmen Square today. That was much bigger than expected. We didn’t go to the Forbidden City as it closes early and arrived too late to get value for money! We also walked far too much today and we were sore, tired and a little grumpy.
We have learnt a couple of things since arriving. The first is that every time you cross a road you risk your life. There are zebra crossings and crossings at traffic lights however, regardless of whether the green man tells you to walk, a car or bike is heading straight for you. The second thing we learnt is that Chinese people love to stare. Well only at people that aren’t Chinese. We have felt like complete aliens today having being stared at by almost all the people that we have walked past, sat or stood next to.
The Chinese people are very friendly and often will offer you help when you look lost. However there are a lot that act friendly then try to sell you something which is the same in most capital cities.
It’s definitely been 24 hours of mixed feelings we were very excited upon arrival but disappointed when seeing our room. The food here is nowhere near as good as Chinese food back home unfortunately, as I (James) could eat sesame prawn toast and chicken curry everyday no problem. Here its cold chicken meals, soup which consists of hot water and lettuce and a lot of strange insects and fish! So looks like a lot of fresh fruit for the next month, at least it will do the waist line the world of good. There’s been a lot of ups and downs today but this is defiantly some experience!!!!
We aren’t able to upload any photos we’ve taken today as we can only use the free wifi for 15 minutes at the hostel and to use the free wifi at McDonalds you need to register with a Chinese mobile number. L So the photos will have to wait for now.