Beijing life is busy, with school, work, social meetings, church, and more I give myself time to still explore and take advantage of my few time left here. I went to eat Yunnan food with some friends, it was a special occasion since we were celebrating a friend’s birthday. She picked the restaurant and could have not chosen better than this.
brown sticky rice
Every weekend is an opportunity to travel around China, and Xi’an was next on my list. It was not enough time to see everything the city has to offer or to even try the famous ‘biang’ noodles. Nevertheless we enjoyed every second of it from the morning up until midnight.
This is a photo of a postcard of the name of the Xi’an noodles, biang2 (only chinese speakers will understand the ‘2’ next to the pinyin). This is one of the most complicated characters with 56 strokes. The bottom part explains a little bit about it.
My last stop of this wonderful trip in SE Asia was the Philippine islands. I had not plan to go until my Pinoy (Philippino) friend, an hour before catching the train to Xi’an told me the plane tickets were on sale, 500 RMB = $79 USD and convinced us to go! This was the reason we lost the train! ha. Nonetheless I do not regret it!
View from our place. Photo by King Choi (our host)
After Thailand we headed to Cambodia for a couple of days. As soon as we got to the border of Thailand to go over Cambodia I could see a huge difference. It all started to look less developed, and a bit more dirty. I wasn’t sure if I was in the countryside or actually about to cross a government established border which looked like an old bridge about to fall. Anyways our great experience in the jungle was about to begin.
For a week I traveled in the wonderful city of Bangkok. I visited most of the temples and other sites. Thailand is really the land of Buddha. It is common to see an altar in almost every corner on the streets, inside homes, and public places. Thailand is also known for its food and shopping. I found very good deals on shoes, one thing that I have not been able to find in China and this is because of its poor quality. I bought two pairs of sandals in Beijing and they literally fell apart by the next week. Maybe I am not lucky or my feet burn shoes like my mom says.
I visited the Grand Palace, this is a huge complex with many different temples which are full of bright colors, gold is the predominant. The Palace has been home to Kings of Thailand since the 17 century. The day we visited was very hot, summer in SE Asia is the hottest but even that did not stop me from exploring such beauty.
Wat Prah temple inside The Grand Palace Continue Reading
This last month of June has been the busiest of them all. I was tutoring Spanish and English on my ‘spare’ time. In China, teaching a foreign language is well paid, specially if you are a native speaker. There is always a school hiring or parents who want their children to improve their language skills. For me tutoring Spanish was better, not only because is my first language but the pay rate is higher. So I began looking for students. As soon as I placed an add online emails started filling my inbox. Unfortunately I could not commit to everyone. Getting around in Beijing is not that easy, sometimes it takes up a long time to get somewhere particularly during rush hour. Traffic is one of the biggest problems in Beijing and the #1 reason I’m always running late! The subway might be faster but everything depends on the location you are heading to. It could take an hour to get there then an hour back.
I saved the money from teaching to do some traveling during the summer, and after my bicycle was stolen I decided to upgrade to a scooter!
Shouting “fuwuyuan” when you need the waiter at your table might be rude in other countries but in China is very common. As it is, restaurants are vey noisy, people talking loud, laughing, shouting ‘fuwuyuan’ every 5 minutes, waiters yelling at each other, chairs squeaking every time someone gets up, managers arguing with the kitchen staff in front of customers, etc… I have seen it all in China!