I just got back from a 2 day trip to Beijing with Renee. We left on Saturday morning, and it is now Monday afternoon. The trip was great actually. Beijing is... amazingly different. There are a lot more foreigners roaming around, the streets are cleaners, there are flowers everywhere, highways, high-rises, water in the river instead of sludge.... it's amazing. The city is still polluted as hell and the perfect weather we had was still marred by the low lying fog of God only knows what hanging over the city. It's amazing how much the pollution changes the whole appearance of the city. Regardless, the city looks pretty good. A lot of it is still run-down, and they're slowly wiping out the culture that draws tourists to Beijing, but as far as a modern city goes, it's getting there. Honestly, I don't remember terribly much about my time in Beijing. I have the worst memory, and it sucks, but 6 years is sort of a long time, and I have done and seen a lot in those six years. I did remember quite a few things though, and I will tell you that there were many parts of Beijing that I wouldn't have recognized even if I had a photographic memory. It's pretty impressive.
I read an article that compared time in China to dog years. One year here is like 7 years in New York City, and 30 years in parts of Africa. It sounds silly, but it is true. In my short time here, I have watched entire streets transform, 30 story buildings sprout up seemingly overnight, and watched a road be constructed entirely by hand. It's a great time to be in China. Seriously. Things are actually happening here, and so fast that you almost miss them. It's a unique atmosphere, and I don't think I will ever regret being here now. Even though I'm not really a part of the action right now, it's sort of fun to be able to see it all happen.
I have had a couple of job interviews already, and have at least two more this week. I am hoping to start hearing back from people by the end of this week, even if it's just for a second interview or a polite no thanks. I'm hoping to find something soon, as I would really like to get a schedule that I can stick to. Not working has it's advantages, but I would like to establish an income and not constantly have to search for something to do every day. Hopefully something will pan out soon.
Anyway, Beijing was fun. We spent a lot of time looking at possible store locations for the eno store that will be opening soon in Beijing, and so I got to see a lot of malls and department stores. I can't imagine shopping like they do in some of these places. Imagine going into an American department store, a 7 story one, and having thousands of people (literally) all around you looking at clothes, shouting at sales assistants, and trying to get to the cashier. Holy shit. So crazy. It's sort of comparable to the Friday after Thanksgiving traffic at the mall, but worse, and this was just a normal weekend, at just one department store. Granted, this is a description of the most popular department store in China, but still. A lot of the other stores and malls were not that much better, and these were all locals, not tourists.
We also visited the Pearl Market and the Fake Market. I got some new fake Pumas and Converse, a fake Tod's bag, some pearls and a necklace and bracelet made of volcanic rock, and some other random stuff. I love markets. They're terribly tempting though. I needed some new shoes, since somehow 5 pairs isn't enough. My black diesels are getting thrown out though, and being replaced by my new black and orange Webos. They look exactly like Pumas, except the stomach of the cat says WEBO, very discreetly, so that you know that they're not Pumas when you're looking really closely. Their motto is Each Step. ....
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