Greetings from the Future!
It is just past 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 15. Much has transpired since our last dispatch. We traversed the North Pole, Siberia and through time and space and finally arrived at our first destination, Beijing. After breezing through customs and baggage claim, we successfully navigated the airport express train and the Beijing subway system — a feat that I am quite proud of — and arrived at our hostel, the Beijing Downtown Backpackers Accommodation at around 6:30 p.m, Friday night.
We sipped on Tsingtao beers at the bar next door to the hostel and were soon joined by China resident and good friend from back home, David Petito. It was at this point that our plans of having a low key evening — with the goal of simply staying awake until an appropriate bedtime hour in order to get on local time — were dashed.
What ensued was a rollicking night out in Beijing’s Hutong neighborhood featuring beer, burgers and surprisingly good live music at Club Dada. Despite having gone nearly 48 hours without a good night’s sleep, we managed to stay out until nearly 2 a.m. This triumphant effort was effective in conquering our jet lag. We woke up Saturday morning at the appropriate hour of 9 a.m. Unfortunately, the unpleasantness of jet lag was replaced with a biting hangover. But we didn’t let this keep us down.
Unfazed, we attacked the day and the city with a youthful zest that defied my throbbing head and unsettled stomach. The stomach may be due to the fact that I made the bold decision to fast track my GI system’s assimilation by brushing my teeth with tap water — a decision whose consequences will be revealed with time.
Our first day in The People’s Republic of China’s capital city included sight seeing in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and was filled with culinary marvels like baozi (steamed buns), meat on sticks, noodles and hot pot.
I am now back at the hostel about to go to sleep. We have another big day ahead of us, but first, here are some photos from our adventure so far:
Photos by guest photographer Leviathon Murphy.