Tuesday, May 24, 2011

nostalgia forever bike

Hello, this is Laura. Emily's in China and can't get to Blogger because of the Great Firewall, so I'll be posting blogs she sends me from now until she gets back. xo


dear friends,

beijing is strange/amazing. parts of it are super modern and fancy, and other parts of it are just...exactly what you might picture when you think of china. there are these small streets where people share the road with bikes, scooters, cars, rickshaws, food stands, and restaurants. there are no stop signs or street lights or lines dividing the road in half. cars will honk but they won't slow down and my number one fear is getting my toes run over. but the street food is so good. they have these long grills where they grill meat on a stick and it only costs 2Y (about $0.25). yesterday i bought one and it was so spicy but so delicious.

on sunday we went to the silk market. it was like canal street in new york city times 1000, but in a mall. there were different floors for all kinds of fake things. one floor was devoted entirely to shoes and bags, and every stall had the exact same shoes. every time you walk past a stall the vendors try and get you to buy things in broken english. i think there were more white people than chinese people there. on our way back to the subway (which costs 2Y one way, btw), i passed someone selling photographs on the stairs. there was a sign that explained how the pictures captured all of beijing, including "nostalgic Forever bikes". languages are weird/beautiful.

mandarin is hard to learn but fun. i had my first class this morning and all we did was learn the basic phonetics. there are so many, and half of them aren't pronounced the way they're spelled. there are even some sounds that sound like french words, which makes it easier. there are also 4 different tones in mandarin. so the word "ma" can mean 4 different things depending on how you pronounce it, which means that half the time i'll probably be saying completely random things.

i'm taking a lot of pictures and walking a lot. my feet hurt and i'm still jet lagged, but everything is so incredible that i don't mind. i woke up at 530am this morning which is kind of a nice habit to have, but by 5pm i'm exhausted again.

tonight i walked in a big circle twice looking for the street with all the food and eventually gave up and had some disgusting flavoured milk for dinner. too tired to even make an effort to eat.

nostalgia Forever bike,

1 comment:

mindthetoes said...

china sounds cool/amazing/exotic except for the great firewall aspect, thanks for the updates emily (& laura by proxy!)