First Beijing Bimble
Our First Bimble in Beijing
After breakfast we settled for another couple of hours sleep and then set off from our digs on our first Beijing bimble.
Opposite to the Information Office to find out where to buy a SIM card. Down to the main road, massive buildings and the surprise – loads of rose bushes everywhere.
Outside the Henderson Centre Bear posed with one of the chaps, I saw information about them: The Legend of P’i & Xiu. P’i & Xiu, God’s animals in ancient Chinese legends, were the children of the Dragon King. Each of them has a dragon’s head, a horse’s body, Qi Lin’s (another god’s animal) feet, a beard and a pair of wings. They can fly above the clouds and are very brave and mighty.
P’i is male (Bear’s new friend) and Xiu is female. P’i can store wealth while Xiu can conquer evils. P’i & Xiu only eat gold, silver and jewels, but they never excrete as they have no anus. They can keep all the wealth in their bodies. In the traditional Chinese society, people used P’i & Xiu as fortunate animals for absorbing more wealth and conquering evils. Rightee-oh then.
Four hundred yards down the road we found the Sim card shop. Bear flew into ‘fluent’ Chinese but failed to impress a young man carved out of wood with very, very dodgy ears. He had his picture taken holding his Passport, once it had been retrieved again from their photocopier.......signed several sets of forms all boasting hieroglyphics which no one could or would translate, required to choose a telephone number from an extensive list on a computer screen and hand over eleven pounds and sixty two pence for voice and forty gigabytes for all over China.....at least that is what I believe happened but who really knows.
Buoyed by that success, we headed back the way we had come.
Used one of the many underpasses, very sterile but a nice station image along the wall.
Back past P’i & Xiu, this poor chap has miles of grass to mow.
The rose is the emblem of Beijing and even features on the manhole covers, rather pretty wethinks.
Bear loved the rainbow bridge that didn’t meet in the middle, I was rather partial to the concertina bus.
Standing at the top of the Ancient Observatory, we had a chance to look a bit further. The haze in the distance is quite famous, just before the city hosted the Olympic Games Beijing spent millions trying to clean up the air-pollution problem. The traffic was not too bad at this time of day but rush-hour gets quite hectic. Beijing measures 176 kilometres from north to south and 160 kilometres from west to east, it is home to 25 million people and 6 million cars. We are still unsure what should happen at a zebra crossing but it appears to be a game of ‘chicken’ and so far we have succeeded.......
After thoroughly enjoying the Ancient Observatory, we sat in the garden for Bear to find the direction for us to visit Beijing Railway Station. He retold his SIM card experience and pointed to our new service provider, quite persistent in sending lots of messages (we guess of welcome) but as they are all in fancy spaghetti who knows. There is no Mr Google in China and Facebook is banned. Off we went once more.
We both fell for this little beauty but realised we would never fit in together.
Down a short-cut street, we saw our first Chinese ‘One careful Owner’.
This poorly-looking pink job has been settled in place for the last two years, according to her car tax, poor thing is well on the way to joining her friend above as a OCO.
Nearing the station, hundreds in various bus queues.
Before ‘getting in the midst’, we stood on the overpass and took in Beijing Railway Station. This massive building can comfortable fit fourteen thousand souls waiting for trains. The Subway Link moves just shy of ten million each and every day. The taxi queue to the right of the underground building was awesome.
Back at our digs Bear soon got to the task of sorting the huge gap in the curtain behind the wardrobe, that done he settled to his packet of Grilled Squid Flavor crisps. He assured me they taste like chicken, you are on your own there.........
ALL IN ALL FASCINATING, HUGE AND BUSY
QUITE A SURPRISE, NOTHING I COULD HAVE IMAGINED