Monday, May 26, 2008

OUR FIRST VISITOR!

Late April my good friend Brian (aka - Shep - toast/roast at our wedding) made a swing up to Beijing to visit. He was in the area (Shanghai) and decided a weekend in Beijing was better then some 5-star hotel in Shanghai. His idea of camping I guess. We have been anxious to gain the opinion of someone who once shared a similar prospective when we lived in the States. "Is this place as cool/strange/bizarre/dirty/developed/contradicting/etc. as we think? The only way we were going to find out is to take him around to our favorite digs and of course, hit up the sights.
Friday night, Shep and I just took in a few pints of TsingTao and YanJing... Beijing's finest brews.

Saturday, Shep and I made the pilgrimage to the wall. It was a holiday weekend in China, and we went to the most popular section of the wall just outside of Beijing. You can see in the pictures the ant trail of people up the wall. Not to mention all the vendors on the wall harassing you to buy straw cone hats, postcards, jewelry, glow in the dark spinning whirling tops, you name it.


Every inch of the wall was covered in graffiti

A smile for the dedication of the photographer to capture the essence of the moment. This was take #4

Afterwards, we had the driver take us to the Birds Nest (National Stadium) in an attempt to snap some photos. The driver works for Nadia's school and was insistent on stopping on each side of the stadium. Unfortunately, there was still construction going on, so we could not get too close to the Bird's Nest or the Cube (Swimming arena).


Working hard or hardly working?

After a hot day climbing the wall and scouting the Olympic venues, we were in need of a cold beer and some good eats. After spending a week in Shanghai, Shep was hurting for some Western style food. We hit up a local favorite on SunLiTun'r, a strip of bars, restaurants, and huge stores filled with individual vendors. Think a swap meet in a department store. We needed to fuel up before playing the negotiation game with the hawkers.

Sitting outside a local favorite sandwich shop

Finally, after securing some souvenirs and flexing our bargaining prowess, we headed back to the apartment for a little R&R before painting the town. Unfortunately for Nadia, our little growing alein prevented her from joining us on a bar crawl, but it did afford her the opportunity to catch up on some chick flicks. Fortunately for us, it meant lots of beer, lots of whiskey, and of course, a couple fine Cuban cigars. It started off with a few Stella's at a favorite young European hang out. Feeling old, we headed to a hobbit style pizza shop for some 'za and the finest selection of single malts & Belgium beers I have found yet.

The Tree, Grolsch, & Montecristo's

We followed the The Tree, with one more bar that confirmed we are old. Picked up a chicken shawarma wrap for the hangover, and called it a night.

A good time was had by all. It also provided Nadia and I the confirmation that despite its faults, Beijing is a pretty cool town. Hopefully this makes you thirsty! Your are all more then welcome! We would love to show you around OUR TOWN!

1 Comments:

At May 31, 2008 at 10:08 PM , Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for hosting me...while I had been to Beijing before it was totally different to get shown around as an "insider" rather than a tourist. Everyone should creep out there and see the Rahaim's while they're there - you won't be dissapointed. Also, you can buy your father-in-law a gold Rolex for fathers day using the change from Zach's couch.

 

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