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In No Particular Order, II

Beijing, China

Lost in single product malls:

Beijing has these niche malls that are dazzling in their expanse and repetition. There is one devoted to wedding photos meaning they sell both camera gear, professional make up kits and bizarrely ornate costumes for all ages. This mall has several camping/outdoor gear store fronts. I haven't yet figured the connection yet. Maybe after the marriage and after the photos are 'published' glossy ad style, the actual photo shoot often coming months after the ceremony, someone feels the need to disappear in the wilderness?? Anyhoo, these are vastly outnumbered by the former three. Now, these malls are rectangular/square buildings of simple concrete. Straight halls lead past myriad small shops or stalls pretty much selling the same thing and thus being indistinguishable from each other save for the Chinese multi-slash stroke characters that are also rather indistinguishable to me at a glance. If I perchance enter a stall will I remember upon leaving that I entered from the right or the left? Was I heading for white wall with the red sign or was I heading for the white wall with the red sign? I try to have a plan like keeping something in the hand of the direction I should turn at the next T intersection. This worked well for the quilt, button, zipper, elastic, shoulder pad, fabric market, the quilts, buttons, zippers, elastic, shoulder pads, and fabrics each having their own indistinguishable sections. This market is in sections and I have to remember if I am in the first, second, third or fourth set of hallways, some sets big enough to fill a basketball court others to fit a soccer field.

Subway ticket quintuple fare:

Beijing subways now have ticket dispensing machines. Apparently they run out of change quickly. They also do not take one quai bills, only coins. Coins are rare these days possibly because they are sitting inside all the subway ticket dispensers. The smallest bill they will take is five times the fare. To save time I decide to get it over with and buy five tickets. I pocket my four surplus, assuming I can skip the machine on my next subway ride and descend to the platform. All is cool… Until I try to use an excess ticket on my next ride two hours later. Expired!! I wasted on those four extra tickets...... $1.25.

Blue sky dry ground:

I am deep into cavern four of the fabric, bedding, elastic, zipper, button, shoulder pad mall maze when I hear rain on the corrugated roof. It pounded hard! When I emerged from the maze less then an hour later the ground was dry. Was I dreaming? No. Just Beijing dry air working it's evaporation magic.

permalink written by  prrrrl on September 26, 2009 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: China 2009
tagged Rain, Mall and Subway

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Rewriting history or PREwriting history???

Beijing, China

Many of the subway stations walls are covered in revenue producing ads (at one time the station by Tian An Men Square had huge posters featuring my daughter's then boyfriend) but a few of the original stations (the subway system has about quadrupled since preparations for the '08 Olympics began in 2000) have real artwork on there walls, each of the artful stations having their own theme. Line 2 at Jiang Guo Men? They had a beautiful mythical ancient 'sports' in tile behind trains heading North opposite modern [real] sports in tile behind trains heading south. I haven't headed south yet so I have not studied it's changes, if any, but the North bound? What was once ancient Tang Dynasty, floating through air spirit - like supernatural practitioners of kong fu with a backdrop of celestial bodies now has Chinese landers on the moon, rocket launch towers with ascending space vehicles and man-made satellites among the real celestial bodies. I do not Admire the art as much now. I will have to study the opposite wall even if I don't need to travel south. I miss the pure whimsey of their ancient 'sports.'

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 23, 2012 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged China, Beijing, Sports, Art, History, Ancient, Subway, Trains, Space, Whimsey and Rewrite

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Maintaining my image, part 2

Beijing, China

So, this getting stared at thing - I'm pretty good at it. Another way I make sure the stares continue is conducting my training for a two day hike by walking up the stairs when exiting subway* stations. Most if not all stations have escalators up but not down. I find this to be hard on the knees and lax on the heart - seemingly easiest way but in the long run harmful to humans. But enough of my editorial! I hope to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge next week and ignoring the escalators is my training regimen. There I am, slowly slogging up 3 to 6 flights of stairs with this handy conveyance right beside me. Do they think I don't recognize escalators? Do they think I'm technologically illiterate? I don't know. But they still stare. Mission accomplished!

  • On printed signs here in Beijing, 'subway' means a tunnel walkway that goes under the street to offer safe passage across broad avenues. I'm not sure how they translate the underground trains.

  • FYI comments to my Blogabond posts are disappearing. I am not ignoring you! But it's best you comment to my regular email address. Sorry! I just tried to find a new blog site but apparently Blogabond is acceptable to the Powers that be here but the others are not.

    permalink written by  prrrrl on February 24, 2012 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
    tagged Stairs, Subway, Training, Stares and TigerLeapingGorge

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    Beijing, China

    I just got body-slammed trying to get off the subway car. There is no sense of letting exitors go first on subways or elevators. People rushing in/on might block one's egress so aggressiveness is common.

    permalink written by  prrrrl on October 6, 2013 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing, 2010 or Liaoning, 2013. They are appear to be mixed up!
    tagged Subway, Etiquette and Pushiness

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    Beijing, China

    Today is communist labor day. Long slow lines into the zoo. I did not go to the zoo. I was riding the bus giving me a viewing Vantage point unavailable on the subway, the latter being partially closed today. Inconvenient for me! Buses are slower.

    permalink written by  prrrrl on May 1, 2015 from Beijing, China
    from the travel blog: Beijing 2015
    tagged Bus, Beijing, Subway, LaborDay and JanTu

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