I miss China.

Posted by anya on June 2nd, 2008 filed in china

 Photo courtesy of Andrei                       

I just read Around the World in 80 Dates, and it was so incredibly light and wonderful and cute, that I finished it in about three days. I read the last third of it over a delicious cappuccino at Prado, where I plan to spend a lot more time now that I know about it. And Jennifer, the author and protagonist, described her time spent in Beijing, and her impressions of the vibe and pace of the city.

And then it hit me. All the smells, tastes, and sounds of Beijing came rushing back, and I remembered last summer. Last summer, spent largely alone with the city. There were many nights out. But there was even more time for me to be on my own, and explore, and visit, and wander back and forth down Gulou. I remember being so awkward, not knowing that Chinese bus stops are like B-line bus stops. If you get off at the wrong one, prepare for walking. And walk I did. From the East Third Ring to Chaoyang Park. From Tsinghua to Lush in Wudaokou. Circling the perimeter of the lake at the Summer Palace. From Panjiayuan to my apartment. From JiaLeFu to my apartment. Starting at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital and ending up at Houhai. From the tea shop to Pool Bar. All around DaShanZhi and back to the bus stop. From Wanda Plaza to the expat apartments around Shin Kong Place. From Lianmaqiao to Nurenjie. Then jumping into the taxi to make my way to the 2 Kolegas. Walking the perimeter of Ritan Park in the unsuccessful search for the Stone Boat. Shopping at the market by the zoo, and then mango tea at a Hong Kong cafe. My first time walking in the back street to catch the 28 bus, and then the 113 bus. Across the pretty courtyards of the Embassy compounds on Jianguomen. 

The smell and taste and juiciness of chuan’r, the meat-filled pockets sold outside my apartment, fresh fruit every day, the kimchee lady, and the market across the street. The honking of horns, the yelling on the street, FaPiao FaPiao FaPiao, WanBao WanBao WanBao, the bicycles scurrying along, the sound of Beijing rain, the elders performing at the Temple of Heaven, the cheezy music outside almost every store, the random ‘hello’, the curious questions in the elevator, and the chatter as MahJong is being played in the street. 

I miss every single part.


One Response to “I miss China.”

  1. charlie chan Says:

    -when did you add these pictures and colours?

    -i may have just laughed out loud at those two conversations

    -if ever you want that beautiful chatter of mj tiles, come play with us! (hk style, though – but you can exclude our cantonese speaking parts – dexter – and chatter with my dad)

Leave a Comment