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A Foreigner in Beijing...

sunny 28 °C

I took the subway today....!

After a 25 minute walk through 28 degree heat to the subway, I went to the ticket booth to pay my CNY2 (£0.20) for a one way ticket anywhere I wanted to go - Amazing.

I was then greeted by this:
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Now I thought the London tube got crowded....The Chinese have us beat, hands down - I didn't even need to hold on to anything as the amount of bodies in those subway cars held me perfectly in place.
Apparently my 'dance space' doesn't register with the people here.
And my, my, how they like to stare. I had so many photos taken of me I felt like I should have been getting paid for it!
On the plus side, the Beijing Subway system is much more efficient, even if it's more crowded, than any other train/tube system I've encountered. They have the lines and stops like the tube, but they have little lights signalling which door will be opening, which station you're at and which one is being approached next, and the announcements are in Chinese, then in clear as day English - better than Boris!

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So I change at 3 different stops to get to the one closest to Mishel, my soon to be flat mate at the school in Xinxiang and followed the instructions to her hostel.
I find her waiting for me in the lobby and we head out into town to check it out, and lo and behold, what do we find?
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That's right people, a McDonalds! And I found a KFC as well... so much for authentic Chinese cuisine!
You will be pleased to know however, that after walking down by the most beautiful river walkway and crossing a tiny little Chinese-esque bridge, we found a little restaurant and had the most enormous chicken salad with goats cheese and a mango, papaya and banana smoothie - IN YOUR FACE COLD! (which is finally starting to subside - yay!!)

Tomorrow we're going to go to the zoo and go on these amazing little motor powered boats on the river round the corner from Mish's hostel!

I saw other foreigners!! I've never been so happy to see white people! It was a beautiful sight and we all exchanged a welcoming smile and acknowledging nod of respect as groups of teenage Chinese girls kept taking photos of us!

On my travels in central Beijing today, I also found this little beauty:
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Doesn't taste the same, but the sentiment is all that counts!

I've breached the subject of checking out of this hotel early, which is difficult considering they don't understand what I'm saying, but I need to be closer to Mishel and central Beijing so we can get to our excursions and the train station to get to school on Saturday so hopefully it will all be ok.

Going to the main train station tomorrow to get my ticket so I don't have to spend 3 hours in a queue on Saturday and hopefully when I go to my new hotel on Wednesday, the taxi fare won't bankrupt me! We shall see!

Quite an eventful day in old and new parts of town and grabbing a cold can of pop in a travellers bar :)

Good day!

Posted by Lady Mantle 03:10 Archived in China Tagged trains travel mcdonalds language_barrier beijing_subway Comments (4)

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