Wednesday, June 20, 2007


phew, a breath of fresh air back home.

It does feel good to be able to breath freely again. not sure if it is a sign of environment damage, in Xian and Beijing, but everything is covered by dust, and after a day out in the open, we all feel very well powdered.

after days of listening to tall tales about palace intrigue, foolish emperors and evil eunuchs, i feel strangely disoriented. spent most of the morning sorting out my spoils from China and reading my mail.

tuesday morning, bright and early, we followed the map and navigated ourselves to a place where Silk Street was. it was a street filled with stalls, selling all kinds of imitation goods and curios. try as we might, we just couldn't find the place. finally, we asked someone where Silk Street was, and to our dismay, the local pointed to a shopping centre.

Apparently, the central authority cleaned up the whole street and put everyone into a building! now, that quite destroys the charm of shopping at street stalls, in the open. who wants to go to yet another shopping centre? sigh...modernisation.

V (formerly known as Bedi) and i gave up shopping after a while because all our renminbi ran out. we decided to shell out exhorbitant prices for drinks at a nice cafe and people-watch. the cafe was clearly local-run, and guess wat, a starbucks imitation. it calls itself Spr, and looks, well, just like starbucks, complete with the green logo. think they call it globalisation, China style :P a coffee costs RMB 35, which can pay for a meal for 2 at a restaurant in Beijing.

A phenomenon at Food Street, Wangfujing: HUMAN DUSTBINS

my friends, i know it's rather mean to say that people are dustbins, but that is what they are doing in Food Street. there are many stalls selling all kinds of food to tourists, and inevitably, a lot of food is wasted because people order more than they can finish.

so people stand beside the real dustbins, so that they can take over the unwanted food to eat. sometimes they also rummage the dustbins for edible scraps. it's very sad to be in such a state. i bought a stick of deepfried crabs which tasted horrible, so i wanted to throw it away uneaten. and this old lady simply took it from my hand and ate it.