Monday, June 30, 2008

Beginnings in Beijing

Welcome to Beijing Dou!

If the fact that we were in Beijing hadn't quite set in yet, it certainly did this morning when I got lost. Marilyn started her first day of class today, so I did just about the first thing any foreigner does when they arrive in a strange land....find me some internetz. Some of Marilyn's classmates had arrived early and scouted the area out, so they gave me the business card of a nearby cafe with internet and these directions: Cross the street, cross a creek, cross another street, turn right and you'll see it. Simple enough, right...

Wrong! I crossed the street, creek, and street, turned right, and then spent the next hour wandering around the city, utterly lost and confused. Clutching my little business card, I approached security guard after security guard, asking in broken Chinese if they could read the map on the back of the business card and point the way out to me. Five security guards later (these guys are everywhere!), I was back where I had started. I won't be too dramatic about it, but things were not so looking good. I decided to give up and try another place I'd heard about when I recognized the characters for one of the streets on the map. A couple more security guards later and I finally found the place. Only to sadly realize that I had passed by it twice an hour before. It is, to be sure, the first of many such adventures that await me here in Beijing.