I refuse to believe I leave Beijing in five days. Completely unprepared for the freezing monotone of Sydney and not at all ready to say goodbye to this megatron city. Jumbled wordvomit of an update en route to your baby bird mouths:
Ventured to 798 Art District and Caochangdi Village in the northeastern suburbs of the Jing, and imbibed contemporary Chinese art laced with political shouting and beauty. My favourite was a Chinese artist called Yang Jiechang whose exhibition was a “realization of the inhuman that is both monstrous and transcendent”.
Learnt heaps of Chinese. I had a successful conversation with a Beijinger cab driver which is especially awesome because of their notoriously thick accent. He played me some Chinese metal music which sounded a bit like a choir of Mandrakes.
Climbed the Great Wall of China. They got the name right.
Ate heaps for no money. Most interesting culinary encounters include chicken hearts, little strips of congealed duck blood, possible jellyfish (we’re not really sure), lamb kidneys, scorpions. Rediscovered my love for weird Chinese snacks, the current fave is dried strips of haw rolled up into little scrolls.
Partied for no money. It says something about the cost of alcohol and the culture of showing off your wealth that I asked a Chinese man in a bar as a joke if he would buy us 20 tequila shots and he straight up did.
Saw Peking Opera (not my style) and Chaoyang Acrobatics – no OH&S rules and really bendy children made for a seriously entertaining and sometimes scary performance… thinking they could fit eight motorbikes in a cage really not big enough for two was an interesting decision!
Only have a few more days of cramming for the end of course exams and spending my kuai before hopping on a flying car back home. Send me your requests for fake anything-and-everything?
Tea and too many characters to learn,