When my friend Signe was here to visit is in April, I had my first "I-need-to-get-out-of-here-and-go-to-Starbucks-NOW-moment". We were walking around the food stalls at the Wangfujing market and the heat, the smell, vendors shouting and the live scorpion skewers suddenly became too much for me. So we escaped to Starbucks (and I don't even like coffee). I was cured and ready to go back into the "real Chinese world". Many westernes experience "time out" moments like that and the good news is that Beijing allows you to have "the best of both worlds". I'd like to illustrate this with some pictures. Join me on my Chinese day and on my western day.
Day 1 (Chinese day):
I just buy some "normal" chicken (sorry forgot to take a picture) and some carrots.
On my way back from the supermarket I see this guy at the traffic light. And this is not an uncommon sight. Trying to sell a turtle. A reminder of the way animals are often treated here in China.
With the sad image of the turtle in my mind I drop off the groceries at home and go for another bike ride. To one of the hutongs. Where you go back in time in a beautiful way and where public toilets are...well...
On my way back home I'm reminded that Beijing still is the Capital city of a developing country. Check out the cables that are being repaired...
Day one impressions: Wow I live here now! I'm one of them :-)
Chicken and carrots: 40 kuai (6 Euros)
Lunch (pancake and diet coke): 10 kuai (1,5 Euros)
Total: 7,5 Euros
Day 2: Western day
It's time for the kind of day where I stay in my Western comfort zone :-) I start at the mall....
Impressions, day two: Good to know that for the blue days I can somehow find comfort in what I know and what reminds of "the West".
Money spent: let's not go there 😊