Blogs from Wudaokou, Beijing, China, Asia - page 3


Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou June 14th 2008

I've recently been tempted to snatch the title of "Windy City" from Chicago, my prospective future home, and relinquish it to Beijing. The period of late spring through early summer in Beijing is notorious for being immensely windy and tends to experience sudden sandstorms. However, on special days, the winds of Beijing are so strong that I have to walk at a 75 degree angle just to keep moving forward. Today started out normally enough: overcast sky, cool morning temperature, everyone going about their business. I went to my 8:30 A.M. class and then stepped onto the subway for the glorious two-hour journey into downtown Beijing to meet a friend. By eavesdropping on the subway, I learned that a violent thunderstorm was forecast for that evening; I just hoped I would make it home before ... read more
Visiting the Kremlin
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Visiting the White House

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou June 1st 2008

2nd post sunday 1 june 2008 ahhhmm I did indeed take the subway to WuDaoKou, my old stomping grounds where I lived and worked last year. Somethings have changed since last year. For instance, all subway costs are 2 kuai. Last year it was 3 kuai for red and blue lines, and 5 kuai if you were going up to line 13, which is where Wudaokou is. I am surprised the the costs have gone down. I would guess it's Beijing's way of promoting public transportation and "going green" for the Olympics. Also, the trains themselves have been updated... At least the blue loop line #2 has been. The handrails inside are much more user friendly and there are TVs inside showing both earthquake coverage and Olympic coverage. And the maps within the subway cars are ... read more
center beijing map
future beijing subway map

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou May 16th 2008

What I thought was a simple Beijing rumbling has turned into the most devastating natural disaster China has experienced in recent decades. I was sitting at my desk, willing myself to crack open my books and begin studying, when I experienced a sudden onslaught of vertigo. I looked up at the ceiling and noticed my hanging lights noticeably swinging back and forth. When I stood up to get a better look at the lights, I stumbled. I could see the other high rises swaying ever so slightly through the window of my 19th floor apartment. I'd never experienced an earthquake before, and so decided the best solution was to yank my door open and stand in the doorway. The sensation stopped after what felt like twenty minutes, but couldn't have been more than two. I convinced ... read more
My 24th Birthday Dinner
My 24th Birthday Dinner
Birthday Dinner

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou April 28th 2008

Yesterday started out like any ordinary day. The sun was shining, the smog had lifted and everything was turning green. I was on my way to the Dirt Market, one of my favorite locales in Beijing. On the weekends, hundreds of vendors arrive, spreading their wares out on blankets on the ground and within temporary stalls. Products range from hand-painted scrolls to porcelain vases to antique Chinese toys to jade jewelry. The variety of goods is astounding. The best part about the market for me is that it's basically still a local market, meaning I can be immersed in street life, instead of being engulfed by swarming hordes of tourists. Sadly, the market is slowly becoming a tourist hot spot. Enormous TV screens hang from the rafters of the makeshift canopy overhead, directing consumers where to ... read more
Rainy Day in China
Springtime in Beijing

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou April 27th 2008

Our facebook friends will know exactly what this blog is about. So, you can skip this paragraph. To everyone else: In an attempt to make the Olympics a happy and foreigner-friendly affair, the Ch***se Gov******nt (from now on know as 'Norman' - to save any more deportation attempts) is trying to kick out most of the 250 000 happy expats living in Beijing. The scary thing is - it's kinda working. So, of course, getting a new visa at this time is difficult. More than difficult, it's as difficult as trying to meditate whilst having someone put a hot poker up your nose. Yes, we said nose. And, it's not quite over yet. Let's start at the beginning and give you a rundown of this whole saga. Much bigger than the bicycle saga that devotees will ... read more
Relaxin' by the pond
Slings at raffles

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou April 26th 2008

Dear Grandma Ruth, On this, the first anniversary of the day you left our lives, I'm not sure what to feel. It's hard to believe that you've already been gone for a year. So much has happened since that fateful April day. I'm back in China, though this time as a student and not a teacher. It was strange to experience the reversal of roles at first, but I'm really enjoying this opportunity to learn more Chinese. It's in no small part due to you that I am back here again. It's not just about the money, but about the support and encouragement you've given me my entire life and continue to do so now through my memories of you and the life lessons you taught me. I've learned that, as you always said, family is ... read more
Grandma and Shadow
Grandma, Aunt Tudy and Lacey
Grandma, Dad and Aunt Tudy

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou April 20th 2008

It's raining today. Most people I know are either indifferent to rainy days or get depressed by the steady downpour and overcast skies. I'm usually an avid member of the second group, but today was different. Today I was on a mission. International Labor Day (May 1st) is coming up, and since it's a government-recognized holiday here in China, I have 3 days off from school. I'm planning to travel to Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China near Vietnam, for some fresh mango juice and lots of relaxing on the beach. Thus, I required an appropriately relaxing book for beach reading purposes. When I woke up this morning, I was at first dismayed by the rapid streams of water pouring down my windowpane, but I soon realized that the rain meant less crowds to ... read more
Beijing Traffic

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou April 20th 2008

What's stuck in my mind after a week away from Beijing.... Wudaokou station on the subway line lies astride Chengfu Road, a broad and busy boulevard that stretches through the sprawl of northwest suburban Beijing. Much of the area is taken up with universities - 8 or 9 of them, one after the other, with what must be hundreds of thousands of students. Departing the Wudaokou station, you can walk in one direction toward the Foreign Language and Culture university (where Doug teaches English); in the other toward Qinghua University and Peking University - these are the cream of the crop, typically described as the MIT and Harvard of China. I worked with a few Qinghua-educated engineers and they lend credence to the boast. But whichever direction you walk, at almost any time of day or ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou March 16th 2008

It finally happened. After over a year and a half of living in China, after countless sunrises and sunsets, after thousands of piles of tofu, it got me. I let myself relax, thinking it could never happen to me. But it did. Today I planted my shoe directly on top of a freshly hawked loogie. It was an accident. It's not as though I go skipping around Beijing, following old men who unceasingly clear their throats in preparation for 'the big one'. In fact, I usually keep my eyes on the pavement, desperate to avoid them. But I was running late for class, fumbling through my bag, not watching where I was going. It happened as if in slow motion. Activity around me ceased. There was a ringing in my ears. My foot came down, heel ... read more
The Beginning of the Parade
Young Irish Dancers
Slogans and Propaganda

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou March 10th 2008

i have a new name. its gao lan... it means tall orchid... or blue dog if you pronounce it wrong. so here is the latest in news from gao lan town: the last week or so was pretty rough, for some reason. i'm going to choose to call it mood swings. because i don't usually use that excuse, and it seems to cover a lot of ground from what i've heard in the past. so being that i am a female, i had some major mood swings in the last 2 weeks. sure. anyhow, during that time i was napping at 4 in the afternoon, waking up at 11am, barely leaving the apartment for anything but a stroll in the wacked out amusement park across the street to watch old men fly kites. which is, by ... read more

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