It’s been 7 years since I last visited my family in China. While this trip was unfortunately triggered by a death in the family, I was able to see and do a lot and understand China from a more grown up perspective.
I assumed, because of the trendy Chinese girls I see in Australia these days, that blonde hair wouldn’t be so strange in China. I was so wrong. We took taxis everywhere in Beijing, and without fail, every single time, the taxi driver would turn to who ever was with me and ask what country I was from. It didn’t help that I don’t speak Chinese well.
Taxi drivers in Beijing are cool. I took the taxi with my cousin’s girlfriend to pick my cousin up from his office building. When we got there, the taxi driver got out to wave down my cousin as he came out of his building. My cousin thought he was being kidnapped. So funny!
This is my cousin’s girlfriend. Isn’t she pretty?
Rental bikes parked outside of Jiu Ba Jie (bar road). I thought this was very ‘China’.
This is the amazingly beautiful view at Beijing’s Jiu Ba Jie, which is lit up by hundreds of bars lining the riverside for miles. Beijing’s bars are nothing like I expected. While they all had live music, all the bands played ballads. When I asked my cousins about this, he explained that bars in Beijing were more like chilled out cafes with alcohol. Places that have loud pumping music were called pubs. Also, apparently, loud pumping music has gone out of fashion with the Chinese.
Perhaps it’s a sign of how far China has become in terms of social liberty and progressiveness since the days of the cultural revolution that this kind of tongue in cheek merchandising is allowed. This is the kind of souvenirs westerners are offered in Beijing. Oba Mao. The caption says ‘I’m better looking than Chairman Mao’.
And I really don’t understand this clay figurine of Crayon Shin Chan complete with little pee pee. What’s even stranger is that there are other non Crayon Shin Chan related figurines, like little Buddhist monks, which also feature little pee pees, seemingly completely out of context!
Bing Tang Hu Lu was like drugs for me while I was in Beijing. They look so pretty too! My favourite is the one made from Chinese Hawthorn (at least I think that’s what they are called). Anyone know if these can be obtained outside China?
Our Sex and the City shots at one the bars on Ju Ba Jie. They are unusually large. Or perhaps I’m not as versed in mixed alcohol trivia as I would like to think. Downing three in a row, I then boasted to my cousin about how I was totally not wasted. After which I stood up to go to the toilet and couldn’t get up. As this happened right after midnight, he ended up calling me Alcohol Cinderella. LMAO! This bar had a strange night entertainment programme which started with DJ music, then a live band, then (unbelievably skilled) pole dancers, then finished up with the band again. I didn’t know if I was at a club, cafe or strip club!
If anyone wants to see more photos, let me know and I’ll do another post! I’ll be back in Australia and returning to my normal blogging routine next week. I’m currently on the last leg of my trip, in Singapore.