Well after several months of not posting anything (entirely due to the fact that I hadn’t gone anywhere) I make my first post on this blog.
Now due to the fact that I am in Beijing these posts are going to be a tad all over the place, with that said, now to talk about my first day here. Flying in to this endless city on a warm afternoon I had my first taste of Yanjing beer (blue). And man alive! I had no idea a basic lager could taste so good on an empty stomach when one is exhausted. Light and refreshing, with a surprising thick head (granted that could have been entirely due to the fact that we were 30000ft in the air with turbulence). Nothing too special but for my half asleep self it wasn’t half bad.
Now one of the first things I noticed when we arrived here was not the unbelievable scale of the city (which still boggles the mind), nor the teeming mass of people in the thick smoggy air, no. It was the smell. I can’t speak for the rest of China’s cities of course but Beijing has a great pungency to it that permeates absolutely everything and is strengthened by the heat. Sure it fades to the background after a bit, but believe you me, it knocls you back a step when you first smell it. But no time to linger, almost immediately after descending from the plane we were shuttled off to the campus of the BIT (Beijing Institute of Technology), a tightly packed city in its own right wherein not only all the students and faculty reside, but also their respective families.
Once through the gates we found ourselves whisked down a series of side streets to one of the dining halls, fed inordinate amounts of food that we were mostly all far too tired to truly appreciate, and then off into a series of winding alley-ways into a bizzare little market hidden within the complex. All in about two hours.