My Travel Diaries: I’m in China!

I’m in China!

Hi everybody! I have landed in China, and I am very excited to be here, but also a little apprehensive as I realize I didn’t do quite as much research as maybe I should have. My hostel is great; it’s clean, has a good atmosphere, and is located on a street with a lot of local shops and restaurants that really help you to submerge yourself in the surrounding culture. I really do love it.

My trip getting here was about as good as it can get. I flew from Tucson to San Francisco, and then San Francisco to Beijing. On both flights I had the entire row to myself! How awesome is that?! I literally sprawled out and laid down in my row, and also used all of the pillows and blankets in my row to make a little corner fort. This was awesome because I felt refreshed and rested when I landed in Beijing, however I still needed a shower.

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From the airport I decided to just take a taxi to my hotel, and the journey took me almost 3 hours due to all of the traffic. It was nuts. The driver also just dropped me off right next to a busy street and said just go that way while pointing to my right…. And that’s what I did until I saw the Leo Hostel sign. By the time I got to the hostel and checked in I was actually tired, so I did the one thing you shouldn’t do when traveling to a new destination, I took a nap. I told myself it would only be 1 hour, but it turned into about 6 hours. When I woke up at 2 AM, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself so I just did some research and watched tv shows that I wasn’t following at all. I actually forced myself to sleep for another couple of hours and when I woke up the plan was to go to The Temple of Heaven. It’s about a 40 minute walk from the hostel which isn’t bad, but the air quality today was bad so that trip has been postponed until Sunday.

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My back up plan was to just walk around the street where the hostel is, and that’s what I did! The street is filled with shops and people, there’s also what I think are apartments that locals live in, a lot of bikes, and even more restaurants that I want to try. My walk was nice, but people here blatantly stare at you especially when you’re a foreigner with blonde hair and green eyes. I was out walking for only an hour or so and already had people coming up to just touch my hair, take a picture with me, or just take pictures of me without asking. I don’t get uncomfortable too often, but this walk made me really uncomfortable and I headed back for the hostel where I had a great lunch of dumplings. The plate of dumplings was big, and only cost $4.05, what a deal! Now my only dilemma is trying to figure out if the bottles water they sell at my hostel are safe or not.

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Speaking of water, the bathrooms here are quite smelly, both the shower and toilet. But I’m not in America anymore, so I can’t complain about it! Overall I am enjoying this new destination, I just have more culture shock than I was anticipating.

 

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