After a 12 hour flight to Beijing, I got off the metro, my IPhone battery magically went from 20% to dead, and there went my directions to the hostel with it. Apparently, I have mastered my lost and confused face, because before i knew it, a college-aged girl asked in broken English if I needed help. Cassie pulled out her phone looked up the hostel and escorted me all the way there, only in turn to give me a list of things to do and see in Beijing. It was her hometown, and she was so excited for me to be here to visit it. While I have heard mixed reviews about hospitality towards tourists in China, I have experienced nothing but welcomes. Nevertheless I am still trying to figure this place out.
There are a lot of people, more than I can wrap my head around. The US population is a rounding error when it comes to their 1.3 billion, yet I still don’t really know what that means. I quickly noticed their country caters to internal tourism, as English signs are a rarity and there are even fewer are English speakers, but I guess when you have a billion people, there isn’t really a need to encourage more people to visit your country. So while I remain mute and illiterate in this country, I quickly noticed peculiarities of the people that live here.
It through me off the first time I saw a woman dressed to the nine, clear her throat and hack a loogie and follow it up with a snot rocket. I soon realized, it was not her alone that embraced these habits, and it seems to be the louder the better, almost as if a mating call. However, they probably find it equally as disgusting when we use a tissue and then stick it back in our pocket for hours. I was also rather impressed with the number of public toilets in the city, however, in order to use them you can’t have stage fright, as they literally are just a trough of squatters, no privacy available here, or toilet paper for that matter. And while, I’m on the subject of bathroom talk, I quickly realized that babies here have no need for diapers, when their pants just have rather large slits on the backend. Their mothers only need to hold them up and let them do their business, whether they have the decency to do it over a trash can, or at their own liberty in the middle of the Forbidden City, or whoever necessary.
The bathroom habits have made me question the food a bit, so I quickly learned from some seasoned travelers i met in the hostel that all you need to do is buy the strongest local liquor you can find, and take a swig after any questionable meal, so far so good. So while I could go to tell you about the touristy sites in Beijing, I will leave you with a few pictures below, and let you google top 10 Beijing attractions.