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Running to Tian'anmen

Beijing Travel Blog

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Ming Wall ruins.
My last two nights in Beijing I stayed at the Leo Hostel just southwest of Tian'anmen Square.  After checking in I walked around a bit and was starving so I picked up something from a street vendor.  I love how every time I want to buy something it's this whole pantomime show trying to convey what I want and them trying to figure it out and tell me how much.  Anyways, what I got was 5 (even though I tried only asking for one) bread pocket looking things that were ridiculously hot.  The lady must have felt bad for me, or amused perhaps, since she gave me an extra plastic bag - which inexplicably defied the realms of science by not melting - to hold it since I made all the expressions of looking painfully burned trying to hold it and walk away.
Entrance to some large pedestrian shopping street near the hostel.
  Once I was able to take a bite it was quite delicious.  I think it was pork, maybe dog, but it was good.  Definitely a nice snack while I walked around the Ming Wall ruins and enjoyed the sunny day.

I returned to my 12 bed dorm room and realized it was myself and 5 guys in the room: one American, one Brit, and three Israelis.  I struck up a conversation with Robin, a 37 year old English guy who knows more about world history/politics/economics than anyone I know, and he dropped out of school at 15.  Go figure.  I grabbed a bite to eat with him and then hung out in the hostel's common area, meeting tons of people, mostly British.  There was Chris, Matt, Sean, Mya, Gavin, and Hitan.  Robin decided to tell them all I hate John Lennon (because an American killed him) which made me extremely popular at first haha, but became the running joke of the night.
Hitan and I showcasing our rum and coke buckets with way too many straws.
  We all decided to go out clubbing or whatever that night, I just kinda tagged along not really sure what was going on.  The first bar we went to they had a trio of singers (no band) with one girl singing all sorts of American songs, particularly Britney Spears and the Pussycat Dolls.  We didn't stay there long.  After checking out a few other clubs and realizing they're all over our petty backpackers budget, we headed back to a traveler's (aka Westerners) bar across the street from the hostel.  So much fun!  But overwhelmingly smokey.  It seems that every European smokes like a chimney and China doesn't have any laws against smoking indoors.  The played all Western songs and it was hilarious watching one of the Chinese male staff members dance and sing around with the group of drunk English girls.
Apparently the last picture "wasn't attractive"
  He told me he just LOVED ABBA. 

Somehow it was 5:15am and Hitan remembered that Tian'anmen Square does a flag raising ceremony at sunrise, 5:45am.  He, Gavin, some girl Mary and I decided to go.  Suddenly we see people running around us, so naturally we start running.  We run for about 15 min, Mary even took off her cute going out shoes, but by the time we got there it was so crowded we couldn't see a thing.  I think the whole "ceremony" lasted about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Annnd we missed it all.  So anti-climatic.  But afterwards we were lucky enough to have all the Chinese tourists notice the unique group of foreigners (two blonde girls, a tall brunette, and an Indian) so we got to take lots of pictures.  At 5:45am.
Hey hey Chris! And Matt.
  After a night of drinking for about 8 hours straight.  Probably not our best pictures.. but it was an experience.

The next day Robin and I went to the Summer Palace which was huge and gorgeous, but unfortunately it was rainy and so freakin' cold.  I was inadequately dressed - yes Mom, I should have brought that jacket after all - so I wasn't loving it, but I could see how on a nice summers day it would have been really beautiful.  Robin seemed ok though, despite only wearing pink fuzzy socks with flip flops since he "doesn't believe in shoes."  That night we all just hung out in the hostel and watched movies.  Oh, I almost forgot about the most adorable tiny dog I have ever seen!  His name was Brian/Charlie/Killer, depending on who you asked, and was just a little larger than my shoe.  And I have small feet.  I actually accidentally kicked it once not knowing it was there.  Oops. 

The next morning I left for Shanghai, thus ending my time in Beijing!
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Ming Wall ruins.
Ming Wall ruins.
Entrance to some large pedestrian …
Entrance to some large pedestrian…
Hitan and I showcasing our rum and…
Hitan and I showcasing our rum an…
Apparently the last picture wasn…
Apparently the last picture "wasn…
Hey hey Chris!  And Matt.
Hey hey Chris! And Matt.
Hitan, Gavin and I.  Not sure it h…
Hitan, Gavin and I. Not sure it …
Chinese ABBA lovers.
Chinese ABBA lovers.
Myself with a drunk 34 year old En…
Myself with a drunk 34 year old E…
Sam (?) on the right.. a English k…
Sam (?) on the right.. a English …
The result of all our running at 5…
The result of all our running at …
The Summer Palace.
The Summer Palace.
The ingenious emperor decided to m…
The ingenious emperor decided to …
Robin: Oh no, dont get me in the…
Robin: "Oh no, don't get me in th…
Seriously.  Tiniest dog ever.
Seriously. Tiniest dog ever.
Beijing
photo by: Deats