As of yesterday, I am back at home – the flight from Beijin to Helsinki took eight hours this time, six of which the fucking spawn of Satan we had the misfortune to travel with screamed its head off (I do not understand why people think international flights with little babies are a good idea).
On the plus side, I finally watched ‚The Martian‘ and rewatched ‚The man from U.N.C.L.E.‘ with Dad. I also took some pictures out of the plane window for reasons:
There are a few things I have learned about Beijing (and China at large) during my stay:
- The traffic is insane. Like, I don’t even know if they have traffic rules but they sure as hell don’t obey them. There are traffic lights with the usual red (stop) and green (go) lights but no one cares about them – if they light shows you red but you want to go? You do so. So it is basically one huge chaotic mass of cars interspersed with scooters zig-zagging in between (without any helmets, often three or more people on one of these tiny things) and the pedestrians run between admist all that chaos too (cause again, why heed the traffic lights?). It is pure pandemonium and my orderly German heart has had enough heart attacks for a life time by just sitting in a car being driven somewhere.
- Chinese breakfast puts English breakfast to shame. Like 90% of what is served there could easily be lunch or dinner as well as it is just so rich.
- English is an obscure language only found on shirts and jackets but speaking? Lol nope. At our current hotel no one speaks a lick of English and trying to get the times for breakfast involved me speaking my request into an app on the concierge’s phone which then translated into Chinese, he replied in Chinese and the phone translated it for me. I have no clue how you can vacation in China without either a local guide, a travel group or Chinese skills on your own.
- There is a Chinese fill word that can be used like everywhere in a sentence that sounds exactly like ’nigger‘. Which kinda throws you when you hear it the first time.
- Apart from the hotels, the toilets are those squatter ones which are just a hole in the ground. Allegedly better for your inestines but I can only have vivid hallucinations of me falling over backwards and cracking open my skull.
- You just don’t see any non-Asian people on the streets and we are like the main attaraction wherever we go. On the wall every second person told us ‚hello‘ and ‚good-bye‘ as we passed… which okay, might be because I prolly looked very very dead after some point and they wanted to make sure I was no zombie.
- The Internet is shit. Like if the website isn’t blocked, it loads slow as hell and checking-in onto our flight back nearly brought me to tears because it took five tries to get everything how we wanted it with the seats and shit.
- If you drive a scooter, chances are good that you have some sort of oven mittens to go over the handles, mostly combined with a sort of blanket (either as one item with the mittens or seperate) – sadly I did not find one for sale anywhere we went or I’d have gotten one!
- THE FOOD. SO GOOD. I will never be able to eat in a German Chinese Restaurant again without crying cause it is so so so different but so darn good!
- Beijing has the ‚Metro Radio‘ a radio station that plays the best songs from the 80s, 90s and now and is a hilarious mix of English sentence pieces and Chinese. Also it really does play mostly music which makes it automatically better than any German radio station.