Welcome to Beijing

Beijing was the first stop on a month long trip around the eastern half of China. After a 2-hour ride from the airport, we checked into the Garden Hotel, quite nice accommodation in an out of the way neighbourhood. We were nonplussed when we saw they had given us twin beds and asked for a double – an exceptionally good move as we ended up with superior accommodation for the entire trip…

My hubby was tired and wanted to nap, but I needed desperately to shake a leg. Stepping out into the warm spring afternoon, I had a sense of horror – I could bite the air! It was crunchy and kind of sharp… Industrial pollution and dust and dirt particles blowing in from the deserts to the west. The sky was dull and despite being high in the sky, I noticed the shadows on the ground were soft when they should have been crisp. I carried on in search of the garden after which our hotel was named and soon came upon it…

It was lovely, calm and soothing. I would soon learn that groups of westerners are most often surrounded by hawkers, vendors and beggars, but a single person strolling along was respected. I had no idea what sort of crazy adventure I was setting out on as I stood here. Just as well – it’s not as if I could have turned tail and gone home if I had a mind to…

Published by Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

6 thoughts on “Welcome to Beijing

  1. Ugh, biting the air? How awful. I imagine that would have taken your aback just a bit. Other than that, I envy you your excursion into China. My dad always wanted to go and see the Great Wall, but never had the chance. Perhaps one day I will go for him.


    1. The Great Wall is undoubtedly amazing and worth seeing. And it will be jam-packed with Chinese who have come to see it. We arrived at 7am and there were already quite a lot of visitors. By the time we left at 10, it was shoulder to shoulder struggling to get a view… I have a photo I love of the padlocks along the wall – must do something with that…

      As for the airbiting – amazing how many Chinese wear facemasks when they are outside, especially riding bicycles. The dirty circles where they have breathed in and filtered the muck are rather disturbing.


  2. Oh, I am so getting the itch to travel. Whenever I hit a new place, unless I’m half dead, I have to walk around, love to walk around. Explore big street, every alley and every other thing.


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