Sunday, June 05, 2005

10 Good Things About Beijing

10) Homelessness - There are panhandlers here, which I heard were essentially franchised out by the panhandler's pimp to work particular areas, but you almost never see people sleeping on the streets or in the parks. Amazing, really, considering that this is one of the most populated places on the planet.

9) Dancing - In the early evenings, almost every day of the year, people are out on the streets and sidewalks in droves, doing what they love. In fact, there is a large outdoor dance-court near our apartment which is packed nearly every night.

8) Expenses - Back in the states, I couldn't even pay my rent with what I'm earning here. Aside from that, my job pays for my housing.

7) Taxis - All of the old cabs are being replaced. They're everywhere and they're cheap. It's about the only way to get around after 9PM when the subway and most of the buses stop running.

6) Food - Lots of great Chinese restaurants and food shops everywhere.

5) DVDs - They're cheap, they're fake, they're everywhere and I can't watch them fast enough.

4) Culture - Beijing is a creative center. Many artists live here and the city is full of sculpture and beautiful relics to observe. There are also many festivals and events here.

3) Socializing - Aside from the dancing (see number 9), Chinese people love to socialize in the evenings. People can be seen walking around in their pajamas, eating on the sidewalks, exercising in the parks and squares, playing games on small tables outside their residences surrounded by onlookers.

2) Greenery - On a clear day, Beijing is a quite beautiful and green. There are many parks and beautiful trees everywhere and The Fragrant Hills along the western horizon.

1) Beijingers - They're incredibly proud of their city and they have a genuine character. They're not afraid to be themselves, which takes foreigners some time to get used to.

No comments: