I will think of a better name for this blog one of these days.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Beijing not so fun

Time has passed by unbelievably quick. I can't believe January is almost over. I'm pretty busy with work and school, not much time left over for anything else (like this blog). It's ironic because I now have more things to write about but almost no time to actually sit down and write. Luckily for the three people that actually read my blog, i've found a few minutes! LUCKY FOR YOU!!!

So. . . I went to Beijing a few weeks ago. . . it sucked.

For all you Beijing lovers, don't start writing hatemail to me just yet. I mean my experience in Beijing was pretty bad. The city itself is probably pretty good. But I wouldn't know, because even though my "Beijing" trip was 7 days long, I spent a grand total of about 5 hours actually in Beijing.

Why you ask? Because this trip was not for fun but for work. I spent 8+ hours a day, every single day, on the receiving end of one-on-one training, in the business suite of my hotel room. The subject is actually somewhat interesting to me, but I don't care how much you like something. . . 40+ hours of learning, 5 straight days, on the same subject makes you question your will to live. Everyday I felt like my brain got bigger but lifespan got shortened by a few days.

A guided tour of my hotel room!

Oh I forgot to mention, I wasn't actually in Beijing until the last day of my trip. I was in a small town called Shunyi for the first three days. It's an hour away from Beijing by car. At the beginning of the first day of training, I thought, hmm 1 hour is not too far away, maybe after training, i'd hop on a taxi and check out the city.

8 hours later. . . what i actually ended up wanting to do is: dig a hole, hop inside, die.

View from my room in Shunyi. It's snowing! It's been so long since i've seen snow.

After 3 days of that, I went to Tianjin for more training with a different guy. I don't remember much of Tianjin, i think my brain died on day 4. All I remember is that I didn't have new years eve off, i still had 8 hours of training that day and I spent new years eve evening watching Stealth (terrible), Madagascar (not bad), by myself, in my hotel room. I didn't even wait until 12AM, i went to sleep at like 11pm. WORST NEW YEARS EVE EVER.

View of Tianjin from my room.

The next day was the last day of the trip. I woke up early to take advantage of free breakfast, caught a morning train to Beijing and finally saw the city. I didn't have much time so I spent most of my time at the Forbidden City/Tianamen square area. The place is huge! But i wasn't that impressed, I think I've seen too many pictures of it. The buildings looks exactly how you'd imagine them to look like. And there's so many buildings and rooms it all starts to look the same. By the time I was done looking at everything it was getting dark and I was hungry.

Guards! Dork spotted in Forbidden City!

So cold, the Forbidden City needs heaters! I would've suggested it but couldn't find the suggestion box.

I walked to a street market place where they had food stands. Decided to
try some of the street food. . . the food was pretty good but it was the sellers that left a bad taste in my mouth. All the menus are in Chinese only so they assume nobody can read so they almost always "forget" to give me change. It's a good thing I can read a little bit of chinese now, but it's not a good feeling knowing they tried to rip you off.

After filling my stomach, i couldn't stand the cold anymore and i went inside a huge shopping mall. Looks exactly the same as any other mall in any country.
Spent a few minutes in there, realized I was pretty tired from walking so much, remembered i had 7am flight the next day and i hopped on a taxi back to the hotel.


Lesson to take from all this. If you go to a new city, you want to spend more than 5 hours there.

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