Random photo dump:

Top left: This is my all-time favorite thing I have ever seen on the subway. In case you can’t tell, that is a 72 ounce bag of chocolate chips. I’m pretty sure he’s planning to make cookies for the entire city.

Top middle: We found out where all the Chinese women buy the cute masks that match their outfits! Beijingers wear masks with all sorts of intricate patterns and designs. Some of the filters are pretty complex as well. I suppose it’s worth the investment to buy a fancier one if you live here full time.

Top right: The PBR display in all of the stores is super American. The cans here are not the standard red, white, and blue but, instead, camouflage or a more vibrant and complete excessive red, white, and blue design. Anything China can market as American will go over the top to do so, cheap beer included!

Middle: This is a picture of one of China’s Rent-a-Bike racks. I have seen these in places in Raleigh and New York City. I thought it was really cool that you could use your transportation card (for buses and the subway) to rent a bike. I have never seen someone riding one, but there are always bikes missing when we walk by a rack so I am assuming they are being put to good use.

Bottom left: One of our first days here, an administrator took us the ever-so-Chinese restaurant called “McDonald’s”. I am assuming she brought us there because we just needed to stop for a quick bite, but we were all expecting Chinese food. I took a picture of my to-go meal because they put your drink in a to-go bag here. It’s odd, but it’s handy if your cup is hot (like mine was). Also, if you ever go to China, it’s worth going to McDonald’s to try the tofu and green tea cake. It sounds weird, but it’s delicious.

Bottom right: I have, for about 3 years, known about Kinder eggs. I follow a lot of bloggers from the UK and they are obsessed with them. We do not sell them in the US because they have a toy inside and, supposedly, are kids are too stupid not to eat the toy. But, when you open it, it’s two separately sealed pieces—the chocolate part and the part with a toy—which you have to open individually. It’s really obvious that there is one side for eating and another for playing. Anyway, it’s probably some of the best chocolate I have ever had and I blame the US government for ruining the happiness of everyone who has ever tried one in a foreign country and cannot buy them when they get home.

Hades, Maybe

I was leaning against Mona’s bed last Wednesday night when I asked her, “Is writing about the metro a terribly cliché thing to do?”

“Yes, it is,” she had replied.  “And I hate the word metro.”

But the thought kept cropping up.  Which is why I felt the need to open with a discreet disclaimer, and then to proceed. 

I write about the Beijing metro all the fucking time in that breathy John Berger tone of mine, and frankly I am sick of listening to myself.  I doubt I’ll ever hear from myself what it is I want to hear about the metro, though I remain hopeful that every time I tackle the topic some more sense will surface. 

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