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Barefoot in Beijing: 没有鞋子在北京北京

10 Jul
An SVG map of China with Beijing municipality ...

An SVG map of China with Beijing municipality highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Montage of various Beijing images

English: Montage of various Beijing images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not only that but caught in the rain; walking in what you think is the correct direction…only to find that indeed its the wrong direction. Whoopsidaisy.

Although you have to admit that walking in the rain gives you a sense of reality. You’re suddenly brought to grips with life and taken out of the fantasy to realize: life its happening now. Its time to stop waiting for it to “start” and realize what you’ve got is your life, you’re living it now! I’m not trying to be prophetic, just stating what I consider to be truth.

Okay so, I went for dinner with some friends, and went home early. Tried to go home early. Caught the subway, and got off to transfer only to realize that the next line I needed to use was under construction and therefore closed. Lucky me.

“No problem,” I thought, “I’ll take a taxi home, only 10 kuai.”

I walked outside, ambitious and independent. I felt a drip on my arm and instantly roll my eyes, because that means…a huge downpour is about to ensue. Great. Sure enough, down comes the rain. And what’s more, there wasn’t a taxi to be found. So I start walking, I was determined now you see.

It turned out that my determination was all for naught. I was walking in the wrong direction. Go me! Yes, so I turn back around and by this time my feet are a little bit bloody, as I’m wearing some new shoes and wanted to break them in. A thought entered my head that I could just take off my shoes and walk without them. But then that would mean I would be walking barefoot in Beijing, and who knows what I’d walk in…who cares? My feet were incredibly sore. So sore.

Off came the shoes and I walked for a good two kilometers home, in the rain, in Beijing. And this is not the only time that its happened sure enough the next night I was walking home from a movie (which was entirely in Chinese, and I am pleased to say that I understood much of it), when what do you know? Yep, the rain. That dear old rain came down like there would never be another day in the span of time.

I’m not a complete loss, so I pull out my umbrella and continue to walk. Thanks to the umbrella, my head remains dry and so do my shoulders. But my legs and feet are soaking wet, soaking wet.

The second time around that I was walking home, in the rain. I’m so blessed. But then as I said walking in the rain gives you a chance to think about reality. Rain has a way of dampening the heat, wakening the senses and let you really see whats what, and what isn’t. Sometimes I’m struck by reality as it were, quite struck.

Simple things like realizing, I’m actually living in Beijing. Or I’m 23 years old. Or that I have three sisters. Yes, they’re all simple things, but they’re things that I forget quite often these little truths about my life, and about the lives about others.

On those two walks home I remembered the reality that people really at the beginning of their lives each day. They decide what they will do each morning, each day you can be a different person, learn from who you were the day before and better yourself for the day before you.

hmmm…so much to think about.

Embracing The…

28 Mar

Tourist in you.

Every where I’ve traveled in my life has been amazing in their own special ways (duh) and each of those places have at least one thing in common, I try not to look like a camcorder foreigner. In other words the western traveler who feels the need to photograph and video everything that you see. Some of my best friends are these people and while I love them to pieces, I put off my “touristy” tendencies until the last possible moment. 

BUT…I was in Hong Kong for the second time in my life and had to make the most of my less-than-48-hour-stay there. So, out came the camera and I became Tourist Tricia. You either go all out or not at all. So I wore my cool camera with pride and took pictures and videos of everything! Why is there only one photo on this post then? I choose to only put two up…so deal with it and read my words instead of skipping to the photos! 

Just kidding, but seriously.

The food:

Cold noodles in a bag, with some squid seaweed and cow intestine. Don’t let my description turn your stomach, it was actually very good! Like a white-cause-seafood pasta that had been in the fridge and now you’re eating it as left-overs.

Octopus. NOT RAW! I’ll try almost anything once, but I haven’t been able to eat raw sushi yet. You know the saying “Tastes like chicken”? Grilled octopus, tastes like extremely chewy chicken. 

Fish Balls on a skewer. These are really nothing special, probably the most western thing I ate. Apart from the smoothie.

Smoothie. Made fresh with mango and dragon fruit right in front of me. Drinking it was like eating the fruit in liquid form and my taste-buds just couldn’t get enough of this kind of delicious. 

Kowloon Island, Hong Kong is full of Hostels, small boutiques, restaurants, and other different types of things that you have to see for yourself. I loved it there both the first time and even this second time. What  I don’t like is the fact that my curly hair becomes a huge frizz-ball almost immediately stepping off the plane. Nothing I do changes the fact! And the Oceanic-type wind doesn’t help it either. 

Seriously though, if that’s the only thing to complain about and I wasn’t trying to impress anyone with my looks, then this place is awesome. The breeze is pure oxygen, unlike in some cities (Beijing), everyone has a working knowledge of the English language and are very friendly. I met a couple while walking to the Visa office who instead of just pointing me in a direction, took me directly there. 

Now, I stayed in Chung King Mansions, a notorious assortment of Hostels, Pawn shops, Money exchange shops and even the occasional Indian Restaurant. I had no idea there was such a huge Indian community here. Almost everyone is trying to sell you something, from a date to a tailor-made suit. Its a little overwhelming but its an experience you must have. My friend describes Chung King as the place where “the third world is consolidated into a 20 story building.” I didn’t believe him at first and then I got there…

But the place I stayed in (Apple Hostel) was nice, clean, small and perfect for one night. I was able to watch some grainy TV, wash my face in a five-inch sink and pass out. 

All-in-all? A successful break from the busy reality that is my life in Beijing. My only regret would be that I wish I could have stayed there a little longer you know?

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