Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10th of the 10th 2010: Auspicious or what

10th of the 10th 2010: Auspicious or what

First Day in China
Right now it’s raining and that’s a good thing. It’s early evening on 10th of the 10th, 2010, Beijing.
This city is a pretty impressive in many ways. Firstly the rain is washing out the smog of the day, which I think is making my eyes sting and definitely made the Sun struggle orange through the impressive pollution at mid day. There’s road dirt everywhere. In Australia that’s the term for the dust made by traffic. As engines idle, start and stop the gritty residue is pumped out into the atmosphere for our lungs to filter clean!
I’ve been mesmerized by it actually. The traffic here is a mix of rust and dust, scootering and hootering. A slow constant pace that is hypnotic and also engaging as you wait for the next most overloaded bicycle or scooter to surprise you. In a day of constant queuing and negotiation for the basics in shops, the constant draw for me was to stand out on the step and look and watch my new surroundings entertain me.
Coming into Beijing International terminal three at 5 am was also impressive. Walking and waking up from the normal tunnel exit from a plane to be engulfed by a giant structure curving way up high in pristine white was great. Now that seems a million days ago but it was only this morning. In the time that has passed I have opened my Bank of China account, transferred cash, waited in line half a dzoen times, obtained a travel pass, eaten food from the street (I promised I wouldn’t) but ended up eating  seaweed soup, delicious, while sitting on a dirty chair on a dirty table next to a sewer grate… brought Beijing Beer from a mega super market while shop assistants called out the products they where holding and negotiated public transport .
What is the  Beijing vibe? Well now  I sitting here in my room with the window wide open, slowly drinking a Beijing beer and listening to rain and traffic. Outside a wide and broad street facing red neon sign on the roof informs Beijing that the building opposite is a hotel and is open for business too. It illuminates the large willow tree in front and the cars and scooters pace themselves constantly in the glow in front of that, the rain adding to the reds, purples and headlights. Beijing is impressive in it’s human endeavour to use materials to maximum use. More value at less cost, which I heard are the negotiating terms for purchasing here too. I’ll be in the hospital tomorrow. More Beijing vibe then.

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