Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beijing Trip - Beijing Day 1

Finally arrived in Beijing at around 11:30am. The new terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport is huge. I thought the terminal building in Hong Kong was pretty big but this is supposed to be even bigger. Too bad I had to walk through both today.

Part of terminal 3 from the air

From the inside

There are a lot of baggage carousels. In the corner of the sign it says "... passengers are strictly prohibited from dropping off or carrying other people's stuff." I guess it's grammatically correct but it's still funny to see the word stuff on an official sign.

Since most NewSong people were in Beijing already, I took a cab to meet them at the Wangjing hospital. The taxi driver didn't know where it was exactly so he had to ask some pedestrians. During the ride, he kept asking me how foreigners thought about the Olympics. I just told him we all thought it was pretty good, not getting into details about all the stuff I blogged about. When we arrived, the fare was RMB54. I pulled out a hundred and immediately he started whining about not having change. The only other bills I had were a 50 and 2 ones. He ended up taking the RMB52 but was pretty rude about it. Did he really expect foreigners taking the taxi from the airport to have exact change?

A lot of taxis were late model Hyundai Elantras. I used to own one of these.

Anyway, we went to lunch at a local restaurant (RMB35 each), returned to the guesthouse, which turned out to be a three bedroom apartment, and I took a much needed nap. I did sleep a bit on the plane, courtesy of NyQuil, but was still pretty tired. At 6:30pm, after our last team member arrived, we went to a hot pot place for dinner. Unlike the places in Chengdu I went to, here you get your own pot to cook from. Most of us got the non-spicy broth but three people went with the spicy version.

Chinese meatballs! (RMB8 each)


View out the window of our 19th floor apartment

Another view... not sure which way (towards or away) from downtown Beijing, but there are tall buildings every which way you look. The smokestack in the middle of the photo is probably a trash incinerator. I saw lots of those in Taiwan.

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