Thursday, October 19, 2006


Beijing - The Pepto Bismol Diaries

Warning - This blog is written true to character for me and some may find it gross

Hello chums, its your old pal Brent. Remember me?
Let me tell you a thing or two about Beijing.
I flew in from Seoul not knowing a soul in the country, as per usual. My hostel was almost too easy to find and I got checked in no problem. 30 minutes later I was drinking beer with some Australians and a French Canadian that would hang out with for the remainder of my time in the city.

On my second day their I took a tour of the Great Wall (and a few tourist traps you are forced to go to with the tour). Some world famouse tourist sights are proned to be overrated. The great wall laughs these misconceptions off and offers more beauty and wonderment than you were excpecting. I could have spent twice the time there, hiked double the distance and still not really have been satisfied.
Right on schedule, my stomach started feeling... funny. Not funny like a stand up comedian but funny like a homeless schizophrenic shouting at the sky.
The next day I was in the Silk market parousing some of the counterfit goods and my stomach officially went on strike resulting in a sympathy strike by my head and muscles. I had the pleasure of using a squatting toilet for the first time but luckily I had a bird's eye view of it. The first round was a direct it but the second went laughably wrong. Vomit has the ability to ricochet off the slightest of curves and in this case made it clear under the divider to the next stall which met with a response of "Ayeeahhh!!! followed by garbled mandarin.

THe next two days were spent mostly in bed with some empty water bottles that I never had a chance to absorb.

When I was up and swinging again, I checked out Tianamin Square (no one wants to talk about a certain incident that happened there not to many years ago)and the Summer Palace. Tianamin is one of the most grandiose monuments to communism ever constructed (though China is to communism what Vancouver is to sunshine). Despite its impressiveness it remains very bleak. The summer palace was.... about 30 minutes away from down town.

Now as for what Beijing is like, it is very hard to explain to westerners...
The crowds on the street are the sort you see leaving a rock concert, only they move in both directions and are generally less polite. pushing happens.
the sky is yellow with smog which results in a lot of phlegm being built up in peoples lungs. floors, busses and the street are all perfectly acceptable places to deposit that phlegm and men and women of all ages take part. hkkktttt.... pitouie!
yes, children also shit in the streets.

The drivers are very skilled and thats good because they need to be what with no perceptable traffic laws. They treat red lights the way we treat yellows and accidents happen every few minutes. People lay on the horn for about 5 seconds at a time in lieu of using signals and I am not exaggerating that in the slightest.

Despite the laughable lack of basic sanitation and civilization, Beijing is a really cool place and I'm eager to go back whenever I get an opportunity.

next up: Xian - making Beijing look like cobourg ontario.

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