Posted in 2014 (China), Blog

1/12/14: I Went for a Day and Stayed for the Weekend

So it’s Monday now. I have to teach in about an hour and a half and I’m still in my pjs but whatever. These footie pjs are the best thing since pjs + socks. Don’t hate.

I went to Beijing on Friday, mainly because my laptop’s fan wasn’t working at all and I really needed to get it fixed before the overheating got really bad and ruined more things. So I got on the 805 bus down by HuaLian. The 805 has a fast route and a normal route, so I always figure it will take me three hours to get to Beijing because I can’t tell which is the fast one and which isn’t. I accidentally caught the fast bus that time, so that was AWESOME. It took about an hour and a half because of the Beijing morning traffic, but it really wasn’t that bad. So the first thing I did when I got to Beijing was go to Grandma’s Kitchen for banana pancakes because as a Mittlestaedt, the first thing I do when I plan a trip, no matter how long, is make sure I know where I’m going to eat. Plus, those pancakes are DELICIOUS. Then I made my way over to the SanLiTun SOHO, which is one of my favorite places, because that’s where the Apple Store is and I needed to get a new lip ring (I lost part of the other one the night before). I got my lip ring (for 20元, I got a new lip ring, the guy put it in, and he replaced the ball I lost. That’s like >$5!) and went over to the Apple Store, but there weren’t any earlier appointments, so I just went to my favorite bookstore and hung out there while I waited for my appointment time. Then I got my computer fixed (it still needs a new keyboard and the battery is a bit shot now, but the fan works and the rest I will deal with later) and went over to the Tiananmen area where I went looking for some tea for a friend (which I couldn’t find) and some long sleeve shirts for me (which I did find, and the H&M I went to was going out of business so they were EXTRA cheap) before deciding it was too late to go back to Langfang and checked in to a hostel in the area. There, I hung out in the bar section and met a girl named Pippa (who is from England) and we made plans for the next day.

Saturday, I met Pippa in the hostel bar around 10am and we decided to go to the World Park because she wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa replica they have. Unfortunately, the day was super smoggy and gross, but we went to Grandma’s Kitchen for breakfast first. The night prior she asked me what biscuits and gravy are, so I ordered them so she could try a bite and she got pancakes. Then we went off to find the World Park and when we got off on the right subway station, I wasn’t sure she brought us to the right place. The subway’s sidewalk and surrounding area was under construction and looked like it was being torn to pieces, although the buildings themselves were really nice. The smog/fog didn’t help much at all, though, she kept saying how it reminded her of a horror film. But we started walking, and luckily we weren’t murdered or kidnapped. We finally spotted the towers to the entrance of the World Park through the haze and were very relieved Pippa hadn’t gotten us horribly lost. We had a lot of fun going through the World Park and disregarding the “No Admittance” and “Do Not Climb” signs. There weren’t many people around, so sometimes it felt like we were the only visitors to the park, but that just made it easier to duck under the ropes and pose with the attractions. I even went inside the Vatican and felt like a giant. Although, we couldn’t get inside Manhattan, so Pippa couldn’t recreate King Kong… After we went through the various countries, although Pippa was infuriated by the Big Ben replica and because of our horror, we missed America and had to go back, we finally sat down on the subway and were headed back to the hostel. It was a lot of walking, that’s for sure. Back at the hostel, we ordered pizza and ended up talking to a Welsh couple the whole night. Scott was really excited he got to borrow my computer to watch the rugby match live on streaming. By that point, I had already decided it was too late to go back to Langfang, so I stayed in the hostel another night.

Sunday, one of the girls staying in the same dorm as I put on her light at 7am and it lit up the whole room, so instead of trying to go back to sleep, I just got dressed and went back to Langfang. Pippa, Scott, and Kayleigh all went to Mutianyu, although Pippa went on a different tour than the other two, so they had gone by the time I got up. I caught one of the long buses at 8, but it was mostly empty so I put my coat on like a blanket and dozed the whole way to Langfang. When I got back, I took a (6 hour) nap before reading and getting dinner. The woman upstairs from me saw me go to get dinner around 5 (I hadn’t eaten the whole day) and she brought me some 饺子 (jiaozi) that she had made yesterday and cooked them up in my apartment. Then I read some more and went to bed at 11. I was so tired. XD

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