Saturday, 2 May 2009

Beijing Weekend

I'm currently laying on a super comfortable, king sized bed in my 4 star hotel. It's wonderful. In the past 32 hours, I have showered 4 times. Also wonderful. I love having a bathtub with unlimited hot water with lots of water pressure. I haven't stayed in Beijing longer than a day since I got back in February, so it was definitely time for a mini holiday. I've also been enjoying fine American cuisine. I went to Outback Steakhouse yesterday and today, I met Lindsey (also in Beijing for a holiday) at Pete's Tex Mex. I hadn't been there, but had heard numerous positive things. It was good-I'm a big fan of the tortilla chip and they have chips and salsa for an appetizer. I had plain bean burritos and a coke-Lindsey had tacos-all delicious and it was nice to try a new place. Tonight, I went to Pizza Hut and tomorrow is TGI Friday's. I often get slack about my eating habits, especially as a world traveller. I'm one of those people who travels thousands of miles from home and flock to the American restaurants. I rarely try the local cuisine more than once. I figure I'm 28, stuck in my ways, and 99% of the time I know just by looking at something whether or not I will like it.

My little excitement was bribing a cab driver in Baoding. I'm super organized and punctual and I left 45 minutes before my train (it left at 10:39). Anyway, even when traffic is super hectic, it only takes about 20 minutes to get to the train station, so I figured I had some lead way. However, I did not budget not being able to get a cab. With the construction in front of the university, cabs haven't been lining up in front of the main gate as much as they usually do. I checked the main gate to make sure, then I went to the East gate, then I walked down to the intersection and still couldn't get a cab. It was 10:15 and I was panicking a little because I didn't want to miss my train. When I went to hail one, it had people in it, but they were fortunately students at my university and recognized me as a foreign teacher. Anyway, I asked them if I paid their fare and gave him 50 yuan if he would take me directly to the train station. Usually, it only costs about 10 yuan for the train station, but paying 50 was worth every penny. We pulled up at 10:32-I had to book it.

I'll be home in a little over 5 1/2 weeks. I can't believe how quickly this time in China has gone by. I can still remember getting off the plane for the first time in Beijing last August.