A Travellerspoint blog

Weekend in Beijing

Sunny, warm, and lots going on

sunny 15 °C

Friday capped a successful first week at work - the project is taking better shape (and growing like a mushroom!) I won't bore you with the details. It is quite interesting to see the terrified looks of any colleague I approach with a question, however after explaining and lots of hand gestures we are all smiles and ready to work together.

Fridaynight my colleague Amanda treated Emile and I to a traditional Chinese dinner at the biggest Chinese restaurant I've even been to or seen for that matter. Four floors of tasty Chinese cuisine... except the Beef Tenderloin which turned out to be Beef Tendons! (Amanda was surprised about us ordering this but went along with it - we have since explained if she doesn't think we will like it then we probably will not!). Oh and I learned what an ABC is = American Born Chinese!

After dinner we went to 3.3 a hotel / night club(s) there are several in one location. We had drinks at this super cool lounge/bar. This was the first time in a week I wasn't the only westerner. Mostly there are Russian and German people but there are few others of us hanging around too. Music was good and drinks were 2 for 1 until midnight. I met an American girl that has been living here 5 years and is really nice - we continued on for a drink at a different bar but Amanda wrote my address in Chinese sort of a "if found please return" card is comes in very handy but by the time we made it there my endurance was wearing thin and we called it a night shortly after.

Saturday I experienced Walmart the Chinese addition. Just like every where in the world they were handing out samples which proved to be quite interesting. I've got to give it to the sales girls they did their best selling me their various products even though I could not understand a word. I spent almost three hours there but left satisfied and understanding Chinese shopping habits a bit better.

Last night I met up with my new American friend and the colleague I met her through we had yummy sushi and then went for a drink in Houhai, a Chinese tourist place. It was all pretty low key because everyone was pretty tired. On a humorous note I instead of asking the taxi driver for the receipt I accidentally asked for a prostitute because there is only the intonation is different... it proved a good laugh for the driver and a red face for me :)

This morning was a early morning for a Sunday because I met with three of my colleagues for THE OFFICIAL CHINESE WOMEN'S DAY. It was pretty cool they had loads of sales and it was insanely busy every where. Probably a combination of the holiday and the fact that is was around 15 degrees today and sunny - amazing! After a morning of shopping, noodle eating, and a starbucks we went to Tiananmen Square. The television does not capture the magnitude of the square, it is massive! The forbidden city on one side and Mao's Mausoleum on the other - it was a strange feeling to be standing in this square that I had heard so much about - because it was very nonchalant we went shopping and then thought oh Tiananmen is around the corner let's go there... very strange but very cool.

I capped of the weekend with a massage which was 68 RMB around 9 euros which was an hour long and left me feeling more relaxed then I've felt in weeks. I picked up a pizza from Domino’s and decided to call it a night (pretty impressed with Domino’s though they had a pre-printed laminated note in English to explain how the coupons worked, because the coupon was in Chinese - excellent idea, I've never seen that any where else.

Not a bad first weekend in Beijing!

Alright alright now the pics:)

Posted by Hansnally 17:14 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad

Sunshine in Beijing

friday eve in Beijing

sunny -3 °C

This morning everything was wet humid and more or less like home...but early on the sun came out and a mild wind blew the rain out. Although I could not enjoy the sun, just looking out to a clear blue sky was wonderful. Clear skies at night make all the flashing lights pop out that much more.

Speaking of which there is a building around the corner that must be over 20 floors and is entirely lit with a moving light display - it is pretty amazing (but a terrible waste of energy). Just to give some perspective my building is 17 floors (I'm on 10) and there are 4 in this apartment block... but this is nothing compared to monsters like the CCTV building ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCTV_Headquarters) which has 51 floors!

The city blocks make American city blocks look small, and European ones seem tiny... need less to say my walk around the corner to where my ride picks me up takes me 20 minutes and I've not even walk more then 1/4 of the way around the block.

Everything is going well at work - crazy busy but I really enjoy the challenges. My colleagues are really nice and lunch time is a new adventure everyday. Since I've been here I have yet to eat with a fork and knife. I must thank my parents for introducing me to sushi and chopsticks earlier on - I can even manage eating rice with them!

I'm looking forward to the weekend and maybe playing tourist... we will see.

Have a great friday eve and Happy 22nd Birthday Joe!

Posted by Hansnally 20:08 Archived in China Tagged business_travel

Shopping & Dinner

Chinese style

overcast 0 °C

my new Tesco shopping bag - bit heavy when you carry the laptop bag on the other arm... Plus I had to buy TP (of course 10 rolls is the minimum so let me know if you need some!) so I had a few strange looks walking back to my apartment but hey everyone needs TP!
Dinner is a simple random combination - the noodles I bought taste a bit strange but I'm going with a red theme and buying things that are red. Red = Beef most of the time. The "cutlery" I have consists of chopsticks and a cleaver - should be quite interesting if I try to cook something more complex - I'll try and video that ;)

With about 4.5 hours of sleep in the last two days it was a bit like night of the living dead today but all in all my first day was a success. The factory is very modern and nice - there is a nice vibe. Tomorrow I will meet more of my colleagues and take a full tour so more on that tomorrow.

Today I did the Tesco tour - it is giant with loads of interesting different foods. I felt a bit like I had ADHD - the choices were overwhelming... I'm looking forward to checking out the super Wallyworld (Wallmart) this weekend!

Alright time to finish dinner and try and get some sleep. Any guess what CCTV stands for because I'm sure it isn't the obvious :)

Posted by Hansnally 21:28 Archived in China Tagged food

Beijing - just landed

my first evening in China

overcast 0 °C

Yesterday Hans and I set off in opposite directions and I have landed in the far East - I'm also looking forward to getting an update from Hans as for his first night in the new Montreal apartment (but for now he is still sleeping). Getting on the plane was a bit of a fasico due to a tool that I brought with me - in the end I obviously made it but wow I thought it was a crimping tool and airport security thought it would be used for blunt force trama... what has the world come to?

Well my first impression of China is that it is nothing like India, the only similarity I am able to find is their respective population size thus far. Everyone is driving in their lane, no excessive honking, it's clean... but we will see after the honeymoon wears off :)

I felt like a flying AWB# that we are normally so desperatly searching for at Schenker as the 747 was semi converted to a cargo plane. There was zero inflight entertainment but the service was quite good, and the other two people in my row were friendly which was nice. The only bad part was I was not able to sleep and I'm exhausted. I only hope sleep will come quickly and deeply tonight.

My apartment is a typical furnished studio in a big city - but most importantly comes equipted with a rice cooker! Oh and it is really warm (even for me!) but I have no idea how to switch it off so I'm just enjoying the tropical temps.

In a little while I will have dinner with Amanda my colleague that came a few weeks ahead of me - luckily she is Chinese so I will borrow her expertise with all things Chinese (mostly the language).


Posted by Hansnally 19:21 Archived in China Tagged business_travel

China is in the lead

well if you count who is finished and now relaxing...

semi-overcast 9 °C

Well we are back at Pa & Ma's house - and more or less packed. Minus the last minute shifting that will need to take place before I'm able to get down to 20 kilos! Hans is busy with paper work...now I'm sure that surprises no one :)

We head to Schiphol late tomorrow morning, Hans leaves first for Montreal and me 2 hours later for Beijing. This means we will be arriving about the same time only for me it is Monday afternoon and for Hans it will still be Sunday evening (13 hours difference).

Hans has had a sneek preview of Montreal and he is looking forward to exploring his new city - although -16 temps are waiting for him! And for me Beijing is a whole new adventure all the way around, my first time in China and living in Beijing for 2 months should give me insight into all things China.

More from our new destinations to come!

Posted by Hansnally 17:05 Archived in Netherlands Tagged preparation

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