It’s clear I’m way behind on being up to date with this blog. So it’s time for a bit of back-tracking. After having been here for just a couple of months it was time to go check out the Chinese capital. So on New Years Eve, having just finished may last shift of 2012, myself and Dane (check out his blog here) went straight to the train station on our way to Beijing 🙂
This is where the quickest game of “Where’s Wally?”, of all time, must have occurred! I had arrived 20 minutes before Dane, and soon received a call from him
Dane: “Where are you bud?”
Joe (Standing): “I’m…”
Dane: “Ah I see you”
This was from about 50 metres, across a huge waiting room filled with what must have been at least 1,000 people. Being the only pale, white Brit among them seems to make things easier when being looked for. I’m screwed if we ever play hide and seek!
Soon after though, we were on our way, and eager to get there. If any of you have been on a train in China, you’ll know that it can be awful! Crowded trains, 3 people to an already small bench (if you’ve booked a seat), many others standing, and terribly slow. Luckily (or not) we’d both previously experienced this and booked the much speedier D train.
So, at 10.30 on January 31st we arrived in Beijing and jumped on the underground heading for our hostel. Being much older than Shenyang’s Metro, it had more of a London Underground feel to it, ah the smell!
We made it to the Happy Dragon Hostel, ditched our bags, and headed out at 11.30pm in search of a bar. New Year isn’t big in China so we weren’t expecting much, but what would New Year be without a drink in your hand? Desperate for a taxi we befriended some Russians who knew where to go. In all honesty we kind of hijacked their taxi as there wasn’t enough space for them and us, sorry guys! But Dane and I made it, and with plenty of time to spar… Oh, no wait! It’s 12.08! Damn!
So we arrived in 2013 in a taxi! I’ve heard it said that you’ll end the year the way you started it… I started 2013, driving to a bar! Could do a lot worse!
We drank in a Reggae bar, talked with some people, and watched some impromptu salsa before heading back to the hostel. Which it turns out is FREEZING! Now I’ve slept on many tents on various camping trips throughout the year, I’ve been lost in freezing fog on the top of Scaffell Pike, I’ve even swum in an iceberg filled lake in Iceland… But I have never been this cold for this long when I’m tucked up in bed! For those of you travelling to Beijing, think twice about the Happy Dragon if you’re there in winter. After waking up (for the 4th and final time), we made our way out to enjoy the wonders of Beijing.
So, here they are:
Beijing was fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough!
So that brings me one step closer to catching you all up. More to come soon!