Finally seeing China
Hey, Cpod message said "successfully posted" but my p
Well, here I am finally travellng China for the first time. Glad that due to the two years of learning Chinese mostly from Cpod I didn't feel entirely uncomfortable with the new environment and was able to get the gist of some Chinese conversations going on, especially the long "telling off" by an elderly lady to someone sitting behind her on the plane from Hong Kong to Beijing for apparently kicking the back of her seat. Interesting too that as soon as the plane came to a stop, cell phones suddenly popped out and people were speaking Mandarin everywhere, and very loudly too!
No problems at the Beijing airport since there were English signs/announcements everwhere. The only surprise was having to take a mile (左右）ride on the airport train to the baggage claim area.
At the hotel, I mentioned to the bellboy "小心，这包里面有电脑” and he nodded understandably as he loaded our baggage and bags on the cart. I asked him "你会讲英文吗？。 “一点儿”said he. In the room, he showed me where the internet cable was kept and the whereabouts of the wall socket/ receptacle. He spoke Chinese with lots of "rrrr" and was quite difficult to understand all that he said. Watching tv now in the middle of the night due to the jet lag... and lo and behold Michael Jackson's "This is it" is showing on HBO.
ost disappeared! Good thing I saved it on Wordpad. Here it is..2nd post. Hope it'll show up this time around.
xiao_liangAugust 31, 2010, 03:46 PM
Great news! And really exciting - I'll be doing something similar in late October! Keep us updated as to how it goes, treat the site like a blog of your visit :-) How long are you visiting for?
Spending 4 nights in Beijing before we (wife and I) boarding Royal Carribean cruise ship at Tianjin. This is a maiden voyage 13 nights itinerary for the Royal Carribean line so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. Apparently Shanghai is embarking on broadening the crusing business and has built a new port to accomodate international cruise shis. One of the ports of call is Shanghai where we'll have two clear days.. After reading the posts here and elsewhere, we have decided to skp the the Expo. I have arranged with a local tour guide to see the city, water town, and Suzhou.
Great to see you finally made it. Can't wait to hear your updates. Thanks for sharing some tales so far, including what mandarin was understood. These details bring it to life. Will we be hearing you on N&F? Have fun
RJAugust 31, 2010, 03:59 PM
Hey, good for you Paul. Its the first trip that is the best. Like walking on the moon. Enjoy.
zhenlijiangAugust 31, 2010, 04:18 PM
Yeah lots of grrr's rrrr's shrrr's in Beijing. Never been myself, but have seen movies.
Have a good trip!
(whoa I just saw that DRIVEL COFFEE SHOP link. those were the days hahaha)
pretzellogicAugust 31, 2010, 04:25 PM
how was the taxi ride in from the airport? Did the drivers understand you? Did you get any flack from them about which hotel to take you to?
I had arranged for a local guide to pick us up. Figured it'll save all the hassles and pitfalls tryng to navigate our way in a foreign country with my limited vocab on the language. The guide is a young twenty something entrepreneur who spoke very good English and during the 40 minute ride was able to discuss Beijing's GDP, average wage per capita (Y$50,000 annual), China's continuing one child policy for couples who have brothers and sisters, help from govt for abortion including 3 day paid leave, rampant rise in Beijing condo prices making it unaffordable for young couples to afford own a condo (average condo price now arond Y5 million), the govt's attempt to control real estate speculation via 40% down and 8% mortgage. I asked her how the city is nowadays and she said "Beijing changes every day...its very exciting but lots of competitive pressure for young people.
p.s. she also mentioned about China's land ownerhsip policy which I found really interesting...there is none. All land are owned by the govt, assigned to developers (capitalist) to build condos and maximize the profit buck, people who got rich very quickly were those who bought and sold condos. Owners of condos have 70 year lease to stay in their units. At end of lease, who knows what the govt will do then. Only very rich people can afford house with land.
pretzellogicSeptember 01, 2010, 12:52 AM
I'm curious of your initial impressions of Beijing, and of China.what you think of the food, the people, the city,the zeitgeist.....
Strolled and window shopped the streets around the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium today without ... what caught my attention were...
There were "street wardens" at one busy intersection with megaphones and flags yelling instructions to people to obey the walk/don't walk traffic signs. The traffic lights have "count down" numbers same as in the West. Seems to me the govt is training pedestrains to use the cross walks/obey the lights.
One shopping mall has all 5 floors selling only brand name goods (clothings, shoes, electronics, wine/spirits) at prices much higher than in Canada. LaCoste casual shirts were selling above Y1,000...
Bags are xrayed and people patted down just like at airport security to go in the Bird's nest (Y50 entrance fee) Plenty of uniformed security people around the Bird's Nest. Inside, there were large screens showing excepts of the 2008 olympic.
Food courts selling lots of Chinese menu at what seems very cheap prices. Very clean premises, crowded at the lunch time, and the dishes look very delicious although I don't know what they are.
Zertgeist of the people? The nation getting wealthier and wealthier and they want in!
Yes, they do have events there, including sporting events such as soccer. Guide told us that at first the govt wanted a retractable roof however decided against it because of the Y1.4 billion additional cost. She said that the Bird's nest will pay for itself from entrance fees and events, but not the Olympic infrastructures built in university campus.