Continued from Xi’an Day 2 & 3.
Look at this giant boulevard here. There’s enough space for 10 plus lanes, except there are really only three. The other space is taken up by an underused bus lane on the edge and rows of useless trees. This adds so much to the sprawl in this city. Shitty city planning!! Not to mention, in order to hail a cab, you need to cross the bus lane and then stand in the middle of the road.
It is so tough to get a taxi here in this city. Finally, one agreed to take us, and this is with him hesitating. It’s not that we are going somewhere remote, we are going to the city center subway station, where he can definitely get a return fare. I don’t get it. Xi’an, you suck.
Lots of stops in order to get to our high speed rail station out of town. The subway station name for the HSR station is different from the HSR station name. Very poor planning. I asked several locals, and even they had no idea whether the two stations were the same or not.
After taking the first few bites of our food, they made an announcement that our train has arrived. I guess we’ll pack everything up and head to our train.
They had put us in seats with an aisle between us. Sigh. We had asked to change earlier, but they were sold out of seats. RL ended up sitting next to a guy who spent half of the trip picking his nose and flicking off the contents. He was also a little bit chubby, so he would spill over to her side as well…You can see that she is not happy in this photo…halfway through the trip, RL got fed up with him and so I had to sit by him instead. I would then spend the remaining hours of the trip constantly drawing a line in the sand between the seats so he didn’t encroach into my space. Fucker!
The high speed train is pretty nice though. This is essentially almost the same train as the Bullet Train in Japan. China bought Bullet Trains from Japan in the beginning of their high speed rail program, then after a while, copied and manufactured Chinese versions of the Japanese trains.
It was freezing cold on this train. I was trying to get my jacket from my main bag, but the people who were seated beneath my bag spent almost the first two hours of the trip asleep. Finally, they woke up and I was able to get my jacket. Victory!!!
Unfortunately, we soon found out that this room has one major flaw. The shower area has a leak under the little threshold, so every time we took a shower, the whole bathroom floor would accumulate with a puddle of water. It get more and more annoying as the days went by, but we were too lazy to pack back up and switch rooms.
We are starving, now looking for food. It’s almost past 8pm and we haven’t had food since before noon. RL’s Stare-O-Meter is the lowest here in Beijing compared to the rest of China. That’s to be expected though, Beijing being a giant capitol city and all.
We walked and walked, and it went from restaurant bars to just bars. Ugh, I guess we’ll turn back around to find some food. We are both getting very hangry. This always happens. We get hangry, then we get short with each other until we eat.
RL loves corn and spare rib soup. My mom makes this soup at home too, yum. Liquor prices are pretty expensive over here. RL’s double shot Malibu and Diet costs over $20!!! Eeek. When I mentioned to the bar manager how expensive drinks are here, she mentioned that some of the cheaper places use bootlegged liquor…sad, but I believe her. She did also tell me of a cheap bar area in Beijing where we could visit. Must check that out another night.
We had actually ordered 3 dishes, but the third one never showed up. This has happened to us in China several times now. Somehow, one of our dish just never shows up by the time we are done eating, so we end up cancelling the dish. Of course, the wait staff never apologies for their mistakes. Oh China…you are tough to get along with.
Many of the bars in this area have live music with cover bands. This bar had the best cover band. Some of the other ones were pretty terrible.
Ahh, people watching. There are definitely more Westerners here than in Xi’an. We saw several groups of them walking around here. We also saw a group of American students here, perhaps for study abroad programs?
To be continued at Beijing Day 2.