Archive for January, 2010

Beijing Bars

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

I usually do not go to the bars in Beijing because I don’t have friends to go with. Let’s face it, who likes to drink alone? Ok, besides alcoholics… Which I am not. When my friend Will told me his friend lived in Beijing, I could not pass up the opportunity to bar hop with someone who knows the town.

Mark and I met up last night at Tuanjiehu subway station and headed to the bar street. Mark moved to Beijing over five years ago so he knows the best dive bars, dance clubs and music hot spots. We started the night off at a trendy bar (go figure I cannot remember the name) that reminded me of the Northwest. Maybe it was the big wooden doors, I don’t know. Low, funky chairs gave the bar a modern vibe. Most the light came from an illuminated bar. Mark and I ordered martinis and got to know each other.

Mark moved here over five years ago and currently lives with his girlfriend Ina. She is Norwegian and works for the embassy, so her schedule is packed. Mark lives off an inheritance and plans to return to American within the next couple weeks. He plans to “take the long way home.” What is the long way back to America? It is through Beijing, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan (I kid you not), Iraq, a few countries in Europe and then back to the States. Having lived in Beijing for so long, Mark filled me in on everything from culture to cuisine, and clubbing to job customs. He said the bars in China are relatively safe, even if I wanted to go out alone. Just take a cab from bar to bar, or walk in well populated areas. When it came to job hunting, Mark told me some alarming facts. It is surprisingly common for women to be raped during the job interview process. A friend of his went to interview with a Chinese company and the interviewer attempted to rape her. She kicked some ass and booked it out of there before reporting the man to authorities. What is scary is this is an American woman. With current gender differences, imagine what Chinese women go through!

Mark and I moved on to another area of bar street and checked out some dive bars. These bars are small and funky, but still have a great vibe. Drinks are cheap here too, only 10 RMB, or $1.50 for a gin and tonic! We met some fellow Americans and exchanged stories.

We ended the night at a bar called D-Lounge. Mark’s girlfriend finished work so she met us there with some friends. D-Lounge is amazing. The interior is all brick with high ceilings and chandeliers. The bar (see top picture) is lit up and colored alcohol bottles pop in the light. Dance music plays in the background. I don’t even know what to compare this to. No bar in Seattle even comes close! Teresa you better bring some bar hopping clothes when you visit, we’re going out in style!!

The bars in Beijing are surreal. I could go out every weekend and not see them all. Dance clubs, dive bars, jazz lounges, karaoke houses, whatever your bar scene, it is here. Going out in Beijing makes me feel like a big city girl. People from all over the world, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia, are here to enjoy the night life. Seattle cannot top this!

♥ BB

Saturday Night Life

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Hey everyone, just thought I would upload a quick little video before hitting the town. I’ll write a blog tomorrow filling you in on my exciting night in Beijing. Wish everyone could experience this!

♥ BB
Movie on 2010-01-30 at 04.17

City Life

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

This morning I planned to wake up bright and early, clean my apartment and head to Tian’anmen Square to take pictures and add a video blog. I hadn’t even made it to the subway station when I decided to pull out my camera and snap some pictures. What the-!? Go figure, on a gorgeous blue sky day I forget to charge my camera. I decided to forego Tian’anmen Square. It wasn’t worth the rush of getting there if my camera will be dead. Instead I decided to walk around and take pictures of my neighborhood.

Vendors sell fruits and veggies on busy street corners. I thought the vibrant red of the strawberries would photograph well. I also bought some strawberries. Unfortunately these strawberries look better than they taste. I would’ve been better off eating cardboard. Zero flavor. I actually threw them away after a few bites. Glad I paid 10 RMB to take a picture of strawberries.

I walked up Jianguo Lu (lu means road in Chinese) looking for photo opportunities when I heard “zoom!” Oh look, there goes another Ferrari. Don’t mind the Range Rover in the background. I’ve almost become desensitized to nice cars and their extravagant price tags. It is not uncommon to see a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati or Bentley cruising the streets of China. I guess that’s normal when you live in the country with the most billionaires in the world. Mercedes? BMW? Range Rover? Naw, I’ll take the Bentley Continental Supersport. I like the B on the grill :]

By this point I had walked at least a mile and worked up an appetite. I decided to head home, charge my camera and get my favorite Chinese dish- Jing Jiang Rou Si. On my way home I crossed underneath a gousu gonglu, or a superhighway. Literally, these highways are super. Super massive! At least six lanes of traffic can cross underneath the eight lane overpass. It’s insane. I would love to take some arial shots of the roads here. They make Seattle look miniscule. In spite of the recent earthquakes in Hati and Guizhou province, China I often wonder how these super structures would hold up should Beijing experience an earthquake. I certainly don’t want to find out.

Walking home with only a little camera battery left, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the old apartment buildings. Something about the red exterior, green window frames and external AC units caught my attention. A Chinse woman shook out a comforter before hanging it to dry. These apartments seemed so old and rundown, yet compared to other apartments they are not too bad. China has immense wealth, yet also immense poverty. Seeing sites like this reminds me to never take things for granted. Having lived in China for a few months now, I am even more appreciative of the freedoms and opportunities in America. It’s easy to sit and complain about America, politics and money. Come to China. You will soon be silenced.

♥ BB

Now Playing: 05 Hitten

Beijing Traffic

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

To all you Seattle-ites and city goers, please do not complain about traffic. Unless you’ve been to China, you have not seen traffic. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll try to take some video in a cab so you can get the full China travel experience. For now, this will have to do. Enjoy!

♥ BB
Movie on 2010-01-29 at 21.04

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Sponge Bob Square Pants!

♥ BB
Movie on 2010-01-29 at 20.04 #2