Beijing '10 Day 1 - A Very Hot Welcome, Beijing in July

July 5, 2010 (Monday)

I was up at 3:00 a.m. to double-check things. I was going on a 2-week adventure after all. Finally, after hours of waiting, I was off to Beijing, my first love, for my supposedly yearly pilgrimage.

While in the waiting area and on the plane, I was very unlucky to be seated in front of very vocal Beijingers, talking non-stop and having an opinion about everything as if nobody can hear and understand. I hoped I could still have the peace and quiet that I was looking forward to for weeks when I get there. I was relieved four hours later into the flight when they announced our final decent. They don’t check baggage tags at the airport so be on the lookout for your luggage.

It’s a very, very hot July morning, even hotter than Manila. Good thing I knew where I was going – back to my old school. The first thing I did was to look for the city bus, where the Number 5 bus goes straight to the ZhongGuanCun 中关村 area, and I went down at XueYuanQiao 学院桥 stop. At 16RMB, this was way cheaper than riding a taxi all the way (around 100RMB) to HaiDian where BeiDa 北京大学 , BLCU 北京语言大学 and QingHua 清华大学 Universities are. Don’t expect though that the driver will help you with your luggage or even allow you to put it in the storage compartment. To get to the apartment, I counted on the taxi driver. You just need to show a written address to get to your destination and pay around 10 (base fare) to 15RMB more from the stop.

First thing I did was to go online, only to find out that there was no Facebook and YouTube readily available. What a half-day. There is no time difference between Manila and Beijing but I felt that I have to give my body time to adjust. I have not been here in 2 years and I am not used to traveling by myself.

There was still light outside at 5:00 p.m. so I decided to go out of the secluded QingFengHuaJingYuan 清枫华景园 and walk to a big building I saw while I was on the taxi this afternoon. It turned out to be a big 美廉美 Merry Mart supermarket ! I had a place to go to when all else fails. 2 hours flew by and I rushed out the building and looked for a bus for my future trip to BLCU. I saw the stop. At least it was going to be easier to get to the familiar places and the subway. I went back to the apartment knowing that the supermarket and bus stop was only 10-15 minutes away and there are little convenience stores along the way. I also went to sleep knowing that there was still light at 9:00 p.m. during summertime and I wouldn’t have to rush home every time. I felt like a first-timer here in Beijing.

Read more about Beijing:

Beijing '10 Day 1 - A Very Hot Welcome, Beijing in July
Beijing '10 Day 2 - At  HaiDian, Vegetarian Restaurant at WuDaoKou to Meet Up with an Old Friend
Beijing '10 Day 3 - Giving In to Korean Influence, Kimchi Rice, Kimbap and Koreanovela in Beijing!
Beijing '10 Day 4 - At The Golden Tripod & Lama Temple, Time Stops, Things Change and the World Goes On
Beijing '10 Day 5 - Taking On an Old Route, Food Delivery in Beijing
Beijing '10 Day 6 - Staying Awake on a Night Out
Beijing '10 Day 7 - The First Time’s the Charm
Beijing '10 Day 8 - Banking, Shopping & Commuting Tips
Beijing '10 Day 9 - In Time for the Lotus Season, the Festival at YuanMingYuan!
Beijing '10 Day 10 - Dumplings and Meatballs, YaShow Market & IKEA
Beijing '10 Day 11 - Trapped in the Rain, Eating Lamb Chuanr in Beijing!
Beijing '10 Day 12 - 798 Art District
Beijing '10 Day 13 - Tripping Through the Olympic Green, Bird's Nest & Forest Park
Beijing '10 Day 14 - Saying Goodbye With the Best Hutong Experience, SheShaHai, 100-Year Old Lamb Restaurant & NanLouGuXiang
Beijing '10 Day 15 - Going Home