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Beijing and the art of deception

Beijing, China


We missed our flight. We died a little bit inside. We went home. We came back. We got an upgrade! Upgrades seem to be reserved for the rich or the unlucky - suddenly everything was great and before I'd even had time to finish watching my third film on the (very spacious) plane we were bumbling our way onto a bus in Beijing!

Beijing is fucking busy and a bit intimidating at first. The stream of cars, bikes and buses seemed completely unreasonable and we decided to get a tuctuc to the hostel to avoid adding to the manic roadrage around us. Then we decided to get out of the tuctuc and into a taxi because it became apparent that the driver was completely insane. And he hadn't even started driving! Incidentally, this was not the last crazy tuctuc driver we encountered in our first day in Beijing, we had as funny a near death experience as you could hope for on the way to the Forbidden City, but you will have to watch the video I shot to fully appreciate how driving towards an oncoming bus on the wrong side of the road can be funny.

The funniest part of the day, and the part which reflects what I suspect is an annoyingly large part of the Beijing experience was meeting our first friend! A Chinese art student spotted us looking lost and suggested that we go with him to an art gallery where we could see some of his work (which was very impressive!). It was suspiciously uncomfortable when we decided we weren't going to buy anything, but wasn't until we got back to our hostel that we spotted a large notice stuck to every bathroom door warning travellers not to be fooled by people claiming to be art students and offering to take you to their gallery. What a twat. I thought Alan wasn't a very Chinese name...

permalink written by  steve_stamp on April 2, 2009 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: The art of being lost
tagged Beijing, Tuctuc and NearDeath

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