Back to Beijing

I got back to Beijing and it somehow was a little bit like getting home: After having been on the road for more than a month, when I got back to the Chinese capital I was familiar with how to get around, the language the people are using there (Beijing Hua, 北京话) and all the little things that are different in other cities.

When I was in the southern part, my travel partner and me sometimes were a little frustrated when we did not understand people although there were using Mandarin to talk to us. We were afraid that we were already forgetting the words we had learned during our studies at Beijing University, but as it turned out, it was just the accent that made us not understand some people. As soon as we got back to Beijing, we once again understood what people in the streets are saying.

Painting ornaments at a temple
Construction is still to be seen everywhere, but  it seems Beijing will get ready until the Olympics next year.

Although I was not in Beijing for only about a month, the city is in such a fast process of transformation that even after this month of absence, the city was not the same: Construction sites had been moved or completed, others had been opened. At the Xizhimen subway station we even went in the wrong direction because the passages had been changed.
At Beijing we stayed in the Youth Hostel near the Lama Temple. I had last been to the area in July and the changes made to some buildings were significant and the Beixinqiao subway for one of the new subway lines seems to be ready for the opening of the number 5 subway line.
At the subway and bus stations we also noted a difference in how Beijingers enter the trains and buses: They lined up “civilized”, just as promoted by the propaganda posters scattered in the station. Well, it was September 11, the official day to promote lining up properly, so there were plenty of stewards making sure that everyone is in line. There were much fewer stewards the next days and by September 14, everybody was back in the old scheme of pushing oneself into the subway as quick as possible in order to get one of the rare seats…

I only stayed in Beijing for a couple of days before returning to Germany. Thus, the main focus was not to do some sightseeing (although I still managed to get to Tian’anmen once again and had a look inside the Great Hall of the People) but to see some friends and get my baggage ready to meet the 20 kg limit for the flight to Germany.

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One Response to “Back to Beijing”

  1. Germany - a far away country « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] Beijing 2007 « Back to Beijing […]

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