that alleyway i was rambling on about
Today I was taught the word for "crazy" in Mandarin. I said I wouldn't forget it, and was told to take a good look at myself if I did. I forgot it already, but that is aside from the point. In my opinion, 'crazy' should be plastered across all the sidewalks and hutongs of this massive city. After completing day two of my new job, I have learned what its like to be surrounded by thousands and thousands of beautiful counterfeit boots, shoes, and sneakers (and that one should never spend more than $15 for 'em!). I understand and fully
appreciate the savoury taste of the traditional chinese hot pot ($5 feeds an army). I get that if you want to go where the real deals are, you need to make fast friends with a native Beijinger (kudos to Nina!, my internship partner-in-crime). The zoo market is rightly named not only for its proximity to the Beijing Zoo, but for the mass amount of clothing at ridiculously dirt cheap prices (the morning cab ride cost more than my $4 jeans). And hot and cold flashes are normal for a 21 year old when traipsing in and out of said zoo markets
...when all you need is a plastic bag on a bendy branch to make you entertained I think thats when you've got it made
and back into the blustering windy cold air of bj.
And yes, I said that is what I have learned after my first two days of work. Envious?
It's been a week now, and I can foresee nothin but love for China. The language is so beautiful, trapped in undistinguishable tongues and ancient characters... only just beginning to break through to the modern world by use of the romanized pinyin. The Chinese are so cool. And I don't just mean hip. Eyes staring back through the tangle of fur collared coats and muffed ears on the crowded subway are collected, calm, and cool.
Flip on over to Sanlitun or Golou Daijie, the ancient hutong area where I was earlier this afternoon, and supposedly this is where you'll find more guiloh, or foreigners. Although the grey stone path was crumbling beneath our feet and the dusty red lanterns loomed wearily above, behind each and every door was a scene reminiscent of Studio 16 ½ in Fan Tan Alley, or Temple of a Modern Girl Boutique on Main. A “book bar,” I’m thrilled to have discovered, is an antique décor’ed coffee shop lounge bar type thing, full of books to read while
such a small world.
you bypass a cold wintery day sipping tsingtao and talking ‘bout revolutions with new friends. Across the street are artisan shops that hardly appeal to your average touristica. Beauty, eh?
Nina, as mentioned, is a girl who has also been assigned a job with Melco as a junior sales assistant/ interpreter/ tour guide for Gala. She’s also from the year of the tiger (1986), studying marketing at Beijing U; a down to Earth chick that doesn’t mind a glass of vino once in a while. I wouldn’t be seeing this side of the city without her, so cheers Nina.
I miss my Milne family. I sincerely wish I could be with you in Golden today for the celebration Peter’s life. He was poetic and caring in his support for us when Dad died, and I am now beginning to see this nuturing thread weave through all of his short 61 years. From building that beautiful log cabin for his lovely bride, his passion for soaring the skies by paraglider, cascading the mountains by ski, raising a boy with the same caring instincts, and by reading his niece bedtime stories every night of those hot humid summers when I
have u ever heard of such a thing???
would come to visit. I love you Aunt Brenda, and I love you Morgan. I am so sorry Peter won’t be around anymore. Wish I could be there with you right now.
(My uncle, Peter Bowle-Evans was killed in an avalanche while skiing the back country of Kicking Horse Mountain last week.)
All my love,
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