Beijing Olympics

Posted by on May 10, 2011 | 0 comments

Beijing Olympics

22 April 2011 By Friday I was feeling quite a bit better. The rain on Thursday had cleared the air, and I was able to catch up on my sleep to some extent. After a leisurely breakfast we headed out to visit the site of the 2008 Olympics. On the way out, we passed by a vendor who was selling pineapples. We had been seeing them in different places around the city, carved in a very distinctive pattern, and looking juicy and delicious. Later in the day we bought one and took it home, and it was as tasty as it looked. We took the subway, and had to transfer to a different line. Even after a...

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Another Side of Beijing

Posted by on May 8, 2011 | 1 comment

Another Side of Beijing

20 April 2011 When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I was feeling miserable. My lungs were burning and my nose was running. I was thinking that I had come down with a cold, but I didn’t feel any of the aching that would normally go along with a cold. I just felt like the air quality was so bad that my body was fighting back against it. When I looked out the window, that explanation made more sense. There was a greyish-brown haze over everything. I call it smog soup. Hopefully you can see what I mean in the accompanying photos. Across the way from our building there is a school,...

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Wine China Exhibition

Posted by on May 6, 2011 | 2 comments

Wine China Exhibition

19 April 2011 I got up a bit later than usual on Tuesday morning – I think it was around 6:30 instead of 5:30. Yuan made a really nice breakfast cereal out of chestnuts (the ones we picked up on Wangfujing Street the day before), raisins and pineapple, served with yogurt, and some boiled eggs. I was not feeling well that morning. I had a sore throat, and felt like I might be coming down with a cold. Looking out the window, the air outside was thick with a yellowish hue. It was going to be a bad pollution day. Our mission today was to go to the Beijing Agricultural Center for the Wine China...

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Hot Pot Dinner

Posted by on May 2, 2011 | 1 comment

Hot Pot Dinner

We had made arrangements to have dinner with some friends of Yuan’s (she had originally met them while traveling with a group of mutual friends). The plan was to meet them after work at a subway stop, and then go to the restaurant together from there by car. So this would be my first experience with the Beijing subway system. Subway Ride The station was very clean and modern. For ¥2 (about 30 cents) you can ride anywhere in the city, so it is a remarkably cheap way to get around. The place was relatively empty when we got there, so I was expecting a painless travel experience. ...

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Wangfujing Street

Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 | 0 comments

Wangfujing Street

Walking along the moat surrounding the Forbidden City, it was quiet and peaceful. The sun was shining and the air was cool. There were very few people around. We continued walking, heading into the old section of town to have a look around. We walked down a street with a lot of government buildings, gates with guards behind them, and black cars parked on the sidewalk. Many of the cars were German (BMW, Mercedes, VW, Audi), but I saw at least a couple of Buicks. We entered a charming neighborhood and sat down to rest. We had been doing a lot of walking already today, and we still had a...

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Forbidden City

Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 | 0 comments

Forbidden City

I woke up bright and early on Monday morning, as soon as the sun rose at 5:30. Yuan got up a couple of hours later (she never lets the sunshine get in the way of her sleeping time) and made us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs with Chinese sausage and onions, and a glass of orange juice. We also had coffee, using those Starbucks Via instant coffee packets. They are quite serviceable when you don’t have a coffee maker and grinder, and there are plenty of Starbucks here in Beijing to keep our supply replenished (though I can’t seem to find any Chinese locals who will...

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