Last night me and Georgia went to the same noodle bar we had been the night before as we loved it that much and also it wasnt ruinous on our stomachs. I went for chickpea noodles with cloves, Szechwan spice, chillies and broccoli, Georgia had something similar but in soup form. We also had a side dish of the spiciest tofu ever, accompanied with a Tsing Tao beer each. The bill came to £5.50 proving although Beijing in a lot of aspects is extorniately overpriced you can find hidden gems down every road. The night ensued by playing a variety of South American card games with the Argentianian guys we met the night before, I was pretty hopeless. Their deck of cards are different to the Western deck, there are no 8’s or 9’s but 11’s and 12’s instead which makes it twice as confusing and instead of Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds their version is Stick, Sword, Gold and Cup! Luckily they were good at explaining the rules.
Today we woke up to the usual sound of birds pecking at our windows, three wheeled vehicles reversing and the busyness of the kitchen across the alleyway. Today is our last day in Beijing, but we do return back here in about 3 weeks time as part of our tour around China! We contemplated going to the famous Summer Palace, but today the temperature was expected to reach 18 degrees and the Palaces gardens are 1 hour+ away on the metro and we couldn’t be bothered to be on it that long. So alternatively we headed to Ritan Park, 2km east of our accommodation. We had never been to this side of Beijjng and I’m glad we did. Surprisingly enough Beijing has a Russian district which was completely unexpected to me. Immediately we noticed the signs for ‘Pectopah’ which is ‘Restaurant’ in Russian. Then as we looked skywards towards the signs of the buildings in more detail we noticed everything was in Russian! Studying the locals there seemed to be no Russian looking people for the lack of a better description. However there was very little Chinese language in comparison. Odd.
Soon enough we reached the park and like recognising an old school friend we were greeted with all of the bizarre people and the things people do in Parks. It’s very entertaining to watch and made enjoying reading a book on a warm, sunny afternoon in central Beijing a moment to enjoy. My favourite piece of entertainment today was watching a man 30 metres away from us swinging and swooshing a huge sword, practising stabbing movements. Apparently in Beijing you are not allowed to sit on the grass in parks but you are allowed to swing around a deadly weapon. As so often spoken by tourists here me and Georgia looked at each other and said simultaneously ‘it’s fine, it’s just China’.
(Wifi won’t upload picture but will upload shortly)
We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in the sun on the rooftop terrace of our hostel. Taking in each moment, appreciating the bizarreness and beauty of China’s Capital city.