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Beijing I, 2012

a travel blog by prrrrl




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Here we go again

Toronto, Canada


The mostly empty airport lounge is most encouraging. Three seats to myself would be the cat's meow, the apex, the cream of the crop, the to die for of economy tickets. I haven't enjoyed that in years. But my optimism might be too soon. I hope there's not a plane load of Beijing bound from Quebec connecting soon. Sigh.

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 21, 2012 from Toronto, Canada
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged Beijing, Toronto, Hope, Quebec, 3Seats, EconomyTicket, AirplaneSeat and Optimism

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Over enthusiastic... toilet

Toronto, Canada


Usually TMI toilet stories are about the primitive or surprising facilities in developing areas. Not mine, today. The Toronto Pearson Airport restroom toilets are self flushing via motion sensor. In this case any motion gets the swirling waters. Hey! Let me finish my business, please! Your First World TMI of the day. You're welcome.

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 21, 2012 from Toronto, Canada
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged Toronto, Technology, MotionSensor, Toilets, DevelopingNations and Tmi

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Arrived! (Econo-luxury flight a reality)

Beijing, China


Dream became reality! Apparently, few people want to enjoy a bitter cold Beijing winter. It's not that cold right now but the wind is strong. I had several naps across the mostly flat bed of three seats. Thank you, Air Canada! I'm mostly settled into my super cheap but pleasant enough dorm. Now to find head scratch and dinner.

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 22, 2012 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged Beijing, Nap and Cold

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Got an image to maintain

Beijing, China


I'm a white ghost, a big nose. I have scary looking round blue eyes. I get stared at. But Beijingers are getting used to my strange 'condition' so I need something to keep the stares coming. I have my ski gloves dangling from strings threaded through the sleeves of my huge periwinkle down coat. Funny thing is even other white ghost, big noses are staring at me, too! ;-)

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 23, 2012 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged Weird, BigNose, Stares and RoundEyes

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Got an image to maintain

Beijing, China


I'm a white ghost, a big nose. I have scary looking round blue eyes. I get stared at. But Beijingers are getting used to my strange 'condition' so I need something to keep the stares coming. I have my ski gloves dangling from strings threaded through the sleeves of my huge periwinkle down coat. Funny thing is even other white ghost, big noses are staring at me, too! ;-)

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 23, 2012 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged Weird, BigNose, Stares and RoundEyes

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Rewriting history or PREwriting history???

Beijing, China


Many of the subway stations walls are covered in revenue producing ads (at one time the station by Tian An Men Square had huge posters featuring my daughter's then boyfriend) but a few of the original stations (the subway system has about quadrupled since preparations for the '08 Olympics began in 2000) have real artwork on there walls, each of the artful stations having their own theme. Line 2 at Jiang Guo Men? They had a beautiful mythical ancient 'sports' in tile behind trains heading North opposite modern [real] sports in tile behind trains heading south. I haven't headed south yet so I have not studied it's changes, if any, but the North bound? What was once ancient Tang Dynasty, floating through air spirit - like supernatural practitioners of kong fu with a backdrop of celestial bodies now has Chinese landers on the moon, rocket launch towers with ascending space vehicles and man-made satellites among the real celestial bodies. I do not Admire the art as much now. I will have to study the opposite wall even if I don't need to travel south. I miss the pure whimsey of their ancient 'sports.'

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 23, 2012 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged China, Beijing, Sports, Art, History, Ancient, Subway, Trains, Space, Whimsey and Rewrite

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Maintaining my image, part 2

Beijing, China


So, this getting stared at thing - I'm pretty good at it. Another way I make sure the stares continue is conducting my training for a two day hike by walking up the stairs when exiting subway* stations. Most if not all stations have escalators up but not down. I find this to be hard on the knees and lax on the heart - seemingly easiest way but in the long run harmful to humans. But enough of my editorial! I hope to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge next week and ignoring the escalators is my training regimen. There I am, slowly slogging up 3 to 6 flights of stairs with this handy conveyance right beside me. Do they think I don't recognize escalators? Do they think I'm technologically illiterate? I don't know. But they still stare. Mission accomplished!

  • On printed signs here in Beijing, 'subway' means a tunnel walkway that goes under the street to offer safe passage across broad avenues. I'm not sure how they translate the underground trains.


  • FYI comments to my Blogabond posts are disappearing. I am not ignoring you! But it's best you comment to my regular email address. Sorry! I just tried to find a new blog site but apparently Blogabond is acceptable to the Powers that be here but the others are not.


    permalink written by  prrrrl on February 24, 2012 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
    tagged Stairs, Subway, Training, Stares and TigerLeapingGorge

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    Maintaining my image, part 3

    Beijing, China


    Another way to keep the locals staring at me is to do solo videos. I turn the camera on, hold it at arms length pointing back and me and talk away. I often rotate in a Circle so the video will pick up people, actions and objects behind me. This method worked extremely well last night at a crowded restaurant. Crazy big nose...

    permalink written by  prrrrl on February 25, 2012 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
    tagged Restaurant, Video, Action, BigNose and Stares

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    2/1500000

    Beijing, China


    One of my five room mates is a girl from Latvia. Now I know 2 of only 1.5 million Latvians on the planet. I took her through the maze-like alleys not realizing it was her first daylight look at the country as she had arrived just after midnight. Might as well jump in to the culture!

    permalink written by  prrrrl on February 25, 2012 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
    tagged Alley, Latvia and Hutong

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    Endangered words

    Beijing, China


    In Mandarin there is greater variety of titles for family members. In stead of 'brother,' 'sister' or 'sibling' there's big sister [jie Jje], little sister [mei mei], big brother [ge ge] and little brother [di di]. They are cute designations of relativity to relatives. When my dorm mate said her mei mei was coming I thought nothing of it except, 'how sweet.' But later I realized that those words are rarely used here as a nation of singletons does not have a ge ge or jie jie; there's been a one child policy in place since the '70's. My roomie doesn't look old enough to predate that rule. Is she a twin? Does she belong to a minority ethnic group that allows acceptations to the rule? Were the parents natal outlaws? None of the above. In reality she was a cousin. Mei mei still sounds better to me.

    permalink written by  prrrrl on February 26, 2012 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
    tagged China, Family, Brother, Titles, Sister, Siblings and OneChildPolicy

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