So, there I am, landed in Beijing after a 9-hour flight. Small aparté: do you ever feel like flights are kind of a “no man’s land”? A parenthesis where nothing really happens. But when you step out, you’re on the other side of the world. The geographicallity of it truly amazes me.
For those of you who have seen Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” (by the way, one of the best movies ever in my opinion), you will understand how I felt. Never in my life have I regretted my inability to speak a language so bad. I measured how big of a barrier it can be for the first time. How frustrating it becomes when you try to communicate and it just doesn’t go through.
How about we get to the on the ground experience? To be honest, I’m not sure I quite realise I actually went to China and saw so many things, met so many people. Beijing itself is huge, with a tentacular metro network. The city is made of tall modern buildings, tradtionnal hutongs and incredible monuments from its imperial past.
My first visit was the Lama Temple, a tibetan buddhist temple and monastery. As I walked around the site, I saw people burning incense sticks and praying to the statues. The peace reigning in there really gets to you.
I then found a coolish hutong, Wudaoying, with lots of trendy restaurants & cafés, vintage & concept stores.
Being the cat lover that I am, one particulary caught my eye:
In this shop it was all about them kitties. Postcards, notebooks, figurines. Freakishly adorable.
By now, you must all be thinking, ok, fine, but… what’s for dinner? Don’t worry, I have everything planned. For this, we need to head towards Wangfujing and its night market.
Curious to know what’s on the menu? Let’s take a closer look so that you can pick your favorite :)
|Some unidentified bird?|
|You prefer when it’s crunchy? Then scorpions…|
|Maybe you’re craving for seafood, so pick the starfish|