Monday, May 19, 2008

Regards from Beijing

After months of wondering about and doing all sorts of things I find myself in Beijing, China, a city I am going to call home for the next few months. If one had told me five months ago that i would be living in Beijing by the end of the year I would have thought him insane, but I guess the world works in such ways.

I have been here just over a week and I am still trying to soak it all in. Coming from a city like Kampala like I do Beijing can be pretty overwhelming. This is a very very huge city of 17 million people. I didn't quite understand what a concrete jungle was until I came here. Its office blocks upon office blocks, apartment towers upon apartment towers for miles on end. Then you get a break from all the skyscrapers and you enjoy whatever passes for scenery around here but before long you will get to another beijing district and its concrete jungle time again. And of course everything is about the Olympics. From billlboards to phone ads to almost every packaged product the Olympics rule. More on that in a separate post.

One thing I like about this city is that it is pretty clean and very well organised. It has finely paved roads clearly marked areas for cars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians. I have never seen so many cyclists in one town (maybe with the exception of Lira). When I was told before I left that it would be nice for me to get a bicycle once I got here, I thought that they were crazy because In my mind I was thinking of a traffic situation like the one in Kampala and I was thinking, no way! but now I see that riding here is a lot more safer than in Kampala and it is quite convinient.

The one thing that bothers me a bit is the way everybody keeps looking at me. They are hardly any black people in Beijing. I was here for two days before I met any black person. The other day I ventured onto the subway and all over the station and on the train everybody kept focussing their eyes on me. The good thing is that staring is all they do which I have no problem with. I can't wait for the Olympics when all the African and Caribean athletes get here to add some chocolate to all this cream.

I will be posting a more detailed post on my first few days in Beijing later. I do have many pictures but being a dumb ass forgot the camera cable back home so they snaps will have to wait


The 27th Comrade said...

O, Gad. Jay, you're in China!

Have you seen the Forbidden City? Have you seen The Chairman's mausoleum?

There are six million bicycles in Beijing.

Peking! :o)

Cheri said...

Jay, just seen this and can't help but wonder how u are...nawe. come back to blogger.

How is Beijing?

Lol on the Lira cyclists. I know.

Jay said...

I would like to return but logging on to blogger is a hit and miss (mostly)issue.
Beijing is fine and I am liking it so far.