Sunday, May 06, 2012

bai bai

Today was my last day in Beijing. I did lots of things!

I visited the Great Wall, FINALLY. I had to go to the super touristy restored section, Badaling, because I procrastinated and did not do the adventurous Wall hike/camping trip I had envisioned, and it's the closest part to the city. It was still pretty awesome. There is an ancient cable car system that I became kind of obsessed with and now have dozens of photos and several videos of, Chinese tourists (the bulk of the tourists there) are a real hoot, and, also, it's the Great Freaking Wall. Here is my favorite photo from the trip.

I'm pretty sure this dude's (rather dangerous-looking) job is to clean up the trash that people throw over the side. N.B., not all trash made it over the side, such as the half-eaten chicken foot I also took a photo of.

I also got my last cheapo manicure and decided on a lovely jade color. Of course, I impatiently left the salon before it fully dried and now it's all smudgey, but whatever. Anyway, in addition to the cheapness, I love my nail place because it is in the back of a market full of stalls that sell junk souvenirs and knockoff North Face jackets and because the ladies that work there are SO NICE. They also wear some pretty awesome outfits. The last two times I went, one girl was wearing a t-shirt that said "Cogitation...arrive at beauty...silence." It looked something like this:

And I listened to the same song about 100 times. My unofficial guru of all things cool in Beijing (hi, J) turned me onto this Chinese indie-rock band called Carsick Cars and, because I am really bad about paying attention to song lyrics, I can fall in love with a song while having no clue what it's about. Turns out, it's about cigarettes. Or communism.

According to someone on the internet, the lyrics to "Zhongnanhai" are:

Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… I only smoke Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… I can’t live without Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai, Zhongnanhai… who fucking smoke my Zhongnanhai?
 Zhongnanhai is a brand of cigarettes and also the name of the communist headquarters in Beijing. Carsick Cars opened for Sonic Youth in 2007 and they are young and adorable and you can read more about them here.

What else...I took a nap, had a nice American-ish dinner with my roommate at an outside restaurant at the Westernized Luxury Compound, said goodbye and brought unhealthy snacks (Snickers and Reese's) to the nurses I worked with in the ER, took a stroll under a full moon, and got an hour-long Traditional Chinese Medicine acupressure massage for $20 at 10 p.m. on a Sunday. I leave for the airport in about three hours (it's now 2 a.m.) and I haven't started packing.

I am going to miss this place.

No comments: