Beijing: The Boris Johnson of the East

First up i would like to present the latest hat style found on hotter days in Beijing, hope you enjoy.

In any case I’ve just spent 2 out of 4 days in Beijing on what Is a rather free and refreshingly lax sightseeing tour. Project trust feels quite rightfully so that this is a gentler landing into your new home for the year rather than lobbing you head first into your project as the often unprepared devil foreigner that you are. In any case Beijing is mad as a city, literally and metaphorically. The Chinese had garnered a PR image as one of immense tranquillity, unity and self-control. Everything is carefully ordered and structured and follows pre-set paths. This image gets shattered rather drastically when you attempt to cross any road for the first time.

The Chinese driving philosophy does not contain the notion that the pedestrian has right of way when crossing. In fact it does not seem to even recognise that pedestrians exist at all. This means that attempting to walk across any road is like engaging in a crap shoot with the devil. You do need quick reflexes if you want all your limbs intact Though I do have to admit it does give what would otherwise be a mundane experience a real sense of thrill. Something I never thought possible. You have to be impressed by a people that can make something that mundane exhilarating.

Out of Beijing many striking features size is the most noticeable one. it is the size of things that are really stunning. Everything is Beijing is big, quite literally everything except the locals and their pets (Beijing residents seem to have a fascination with tiny dogs, I saw one yesterday that could have past for a very large rat). The architecture, the monuments, the adverts, the buses, the subway and the food all tower over their western counterparts. Tiananmen Square seemed to be close to 20 rugby pitches. The great wall is perhaps the best example of this as a monument words fail rather spectacularly to describe it, so I won’t attempt to.

Though if you ever go to any part of China for whatever reason I insist that you try the traditional Chinese breakfast Bou Zi, it is one of the most surreal but entertaining and frankly delicious experiences you may ever have. I guess in conclusion that you could say beijing is a lot like Boris Johnson. Big, loud, uncoordinated, irratic, and potentially dangerous. Yet all this combines to make a quirky product which is bizzarely likeable and functional.

I’ll end this post here, much more has happened but internet which appears to be delivered via carrier pidgin os constraining how much I can write. For those of you still interested it will be a few days before i can post again.