Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back(packers) to Beijing

As you can see, Astrid is now very comfortable with chopsticks. We're at Hong Kong airport, waiting for the 11:55 flight to Beijing. When she finished her noodles, her first words were Lets find Starbucks! We're aiming to wash our clothes, visit the Summer Palace, learn how to play the instrument we bought last week, and do some shopping today. Tough schedule! Nothing is mandatory, though - as usual :-)

There are at least 9 million bicycles in Beijing, and they all have different sounds. The bell seems to mean "I'm here", the more radiant "watch out", or simply "move!". You can load anything on your bike, cardboard (several square metres of it), garbage, fruit, your fridge, your wife, your wife and family... My bike is pink and has one bell. I try not to look behind me, and the crowd of people in front of me seems to know what they are doing. Anders has got two bells on his orange bike (of course included in the bargain price). Our bikes are the ONLY bikes with color. All other bikes are grey or black or something in between. Around where we live, Chinese people seem to live as well (live, work... I am not sure about the difference, and that is not entirely in a bad way) each in their own store. It turns out that some of them speak English, for instance the son of our friend at the store next to the bike store. Closer to the Summer Palace, which is where we went this afternoon, the side of the roads are all covered with cardboard woods and olympic pennants. We stopped at a restaurant where you boil your own food in soup. They had to bring us the menu "in flesh" to be able to take our order, and cook various food for us to show us how to prepare it. Tomorrow will be a busy day, the number one and two priorities being going back to the music store and getting hold of cardboard to wrap what we bought at our last visit there.

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