After a very long and unusually uncomfortable flight we’ve made it to Beijing. After checking into our hotel in the hutong, we went out for Li’s Li’s favorite food – Dumplings. It might have been 50 feet from our room. The dumplings were tasty and the beer was cold. Pretty much a perfect dinner after a long flight.
Our hotel is very nice – a boutique hotel in the center of one of the hutongs. Very chic. As we were cearing customs, i Li worked her magic once again. After we got off the plane Li Li said “I have to go to the bathroom”. And the only bathroom was on the other side of immigration. After waiting in line about 15 minutes she began to do the leg crossing dance and I went over to a security to ask where the bathroom was, pointing to Li Li and he pulled us out of line and put us in the Chinese National line which had no wait. We quickly cleared the line and the agent let Li Li through before even starting to do mine. I’ve never seen anything like that before – our daughter can charm a nameless immigration official.
The traffic and smog lived up to their billing – although Beijing drivers would have no problem adapting to Boston roads. I love that discombobulated feeling of being driven in a new country and just gaping at all the new sites and noticing things. For one Beijing has so many electric scooters – they are fast and silent sneaking up on you without any warning. The countdown timers at the intersection just seem to exist to let the driver know that to speed up before the light changes. Public restrooms smell about the same no matter where you are.
Random person on the street English skills have greatly improved, or my Chinese is significantly better. Odds are much, much better on the former.
Finally my normal wired excitement at being in a new place is as present as ever. I went walking for an hour after the Catherine and Li Li went to bed and I’m still wired. Tomorrow we’ll head off and do touristy things – Forbidden City, hutongs, Lama Temple, and dinner of course will be roast duck. Could it be anything else?
That’s all for now although I’ll leave you with one final picture. -t