This morning Dad took the train to An-yang for work. He needed to visit the factory where his model airplanes are made. Even with high speed trains it still takes three hours to get to An-yang. Because of the long travel hours, I chose to stay behind in Beijing and relax. I planned to spend the whole day walking around taking pictures. Mission accomplished.
I started my morning with Starbucks. One of the first restaurant terms I learned was Starbucks. In China Starbucks is pronounced “Xing Ba Ke.” The sign on the door reads “Xing Ba Ke Ka Fei,” or Starbucks Coffee. Thank God there are three Starbucks within walking distance of my apartment. Unfortunately, the Starbucks in China do not have white or carmel mochas. I tried to order a carmel mocha and the guy working told me it would be too sweet. Duh. I asked him if he could please add carmel sauce anyway. He seemed confused but made the drink. I instantly felt a little closer to home.
While sipping on my coffee I wandered down to the art district by my potential office and apartment. I wanted to get pictures of this cool ship made out of old Chinese farm tools. There is also a huge graffiti wall with art from various artists around Beijing. My second day in Beijing I saw models having a photo shoot in front of the wall. I thought the colors would look great for pictures.
I also noticed a film crew outside the art museum. They had lights, sound equipment, trucks, backdrops and other miscellaneous stuff set up. Judging by the brand new AUDI in front of the backdrop, it looked like they were filming a commercial. Other people I talked to said they might be filming a movie. I’m not sure who the actors were. One was an attractive Chinese man and the other was a gorgeous, tall Chinese woman with long, black hair. Both had on business attire. I can’t believe this is the area I might be working in. Talk about opportunities.
After a few hours of exploring and picture taking I needed food. My dad and I ate at a delicious noodle restaurant the night before and I wanted to go back to try another dish. I ordered a bowl of thick homemade noodles with veggies, two biscuits and a Sprite. My total tab came to 23 RMB, or about $4.25. I have a feeling I will be eating here a lot if I live in Beijing. No place in the States compares to this.
The city lights are spectacular. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take more pictures. I turned down the ISO on my camera and got some neat shots of the traffic zipping by. I wish I’d brought my tripod because it was hard to stay still for so long. Oh well, a few shots still turned out. I also went back to the art museum to take pictures of the silver statues. Apparently these statues were done by a famous artist and they are a big deal in Beijing. I hope to get more pictures of the statues in daylight. There are 16 statues total and they have a variety of poses. On my way back to the hotel I passed an authentic Chinese restaurant. The sign and traditional Chinese lanterns really popped against the darkness. If I end up in Beijing, I’ll probably take pictures like a maniac. Everywhere I look is a picture opportunity. I’m the üuber tourist with my Nikon D-60, Levi’s and Nikes. What a stereotype.
China rocks. Beijing rocks. I have barely begun my exploration of the country and I can’t wait to see more. Check back for updates!