One week of BJ madness

Hello all, just checking in after a week of BJ madness. Just an overview of my adventures in BJ.

Monday the 11th: The day of arrival
I landed on Monday the 11th in BJ, the first thing I did was get a nice Caramel Blended Cream Frap at the Starbucks in terminal 2 arrivals. Found out that my mobile number wasn’t working so head off to the China Mobile service point at arrivals. The problem was that my number was inactive because I didn’t have enough credit on it. Well, I topped up and was ready to go find my hostel which the only thing I knew was that it was near Qianmen.

I decided to take the new airport express towards BJ and it was a quick and pleasant ride, it costs 25RMB and you have to transfer at Dongzhimen by leaving the Airport line and paying 2RMB to get on the local BJ lines. So that is what I did, transfer to line 2. Getting off at Qianmen I found myself wandering around trying to find my hostel. That is untill I asked a police officer if he knew where my hostel was an old man heard my conversation and knew where my hostel was. He even guided me there through the hutongs. πŸ™‚ Yep, even though the hostel is really easy to find and walk to from Qianmen I was quite off when me and my guide started walking. Hence the 20 minute walk through hutong area. Which was quite nice. I’ve spentΒ a year in BJ and have never even walked around the Qianmen hutong area.

Anyway, I got to the hostel, checked in and called the Tsinghua Super Friends that were still in BJ to meet up in the evening. Which we did in good old WuDaoKou, at the Tous les Jours. Yep, there I met up with Amanda, Kobe, Melissa & Kevin. My gf was already there to so that was quite a nice set up for a good old reunion. After talking for a while we headed off to the U-center for food, the Vietnamese restaurant just opened a few weeks ago and since it wasn’t open before I left BJ we all decided to go eat there. It was a nice meal, a bit expensive and the weird thing was that they were out of pho!!! How the hell can you run out of pho? The restaurants name it Phodaiz!!! Anyway, we had a good meal and guess what, 3 other TSF just got back at the Wu from a month of backpacking. So we met up with Pamela, Wijie & Sammy too. Guess it was ment to be to meet up on the first day. πŸ˜€ After a long 1st day I went back to the hostel and had a bit of rest.

Tuesday: WDK, ZGC & Holland Heiniken House
The next day I headed off to meet the Dutchies at the Wu. We met up and headed of to ZhongGuanCun (ZGC) because Pamela & Sammy wanted to buy some stuff before they left BJ. At ZGC it was like nothing had changed, it was the same pandemonium I’ve known it to be and bargening is still as timeconsuming and tiresome as it was during my year in BJ. But is was nice, as if nothing changed and we are still studying in Tsinghua.

After ZGC we went to have dinner at the Korean BBQ place next to the Pepperbar. Still don’t know the name and forgot to get a business card. Oh well, suan le. Kevin & Sieds joined us so we had a nice small (6 people already) reunion and nice Koren BBQ. Namnamnam!!! πŸ˜€ Afterwards we kind of split up and met a bit later at the WDK subway station. Pam, Wijie & Kevin went home and me, Sammy, Sieds & Steven went off to Holland Heiniken Huis. We had a lot of fun there. πŸ˜€ Dutchies all the way.

Wednesday: Off to Judo & Beach Volleyball
Wednesday was all about the Olympics. Me and my gf went to Judo in the morning which was near WDK (Chengfu lu, Xueyue lu). We saw Dutch judokas (Huizinga & Bosch) and at the end of the day one of them won a bronze medal. Sadly we didn’t see that match, but at least we got to see matches of them. After Judo, we went of to Chaoyang Gongyuan to see Beach Volley. We got there at the wrong gate and had to walk for about 30 minutes to get to the venue. Beach volley was nice to see, and we got to see Dutchies play again. πŸ˜€ Netherlands vs. Germany for both men and women. So that was fun to see. The cheerleaders were ok though, nothing special but the atmosphere and the crowd was superb.

Thursday: Ping pong at Beida
We went there not knowing who was going to play and we ended up seeing, yep Dutchland women team, against Singapore. On the other tables were South-Korea, HK, Taiwan, Sweden, Russia, Nigeria and the Chinese womens team. They just swept their competitors away, it was over very quickly. The Dutch lost but the matches were nice to see. After ping pong we went back to the Wu, shopped a bit and had dinner at Salangbang.

Friday & Saturday: Tennis time … stroll around on the Olympic Green
We went to tennis on both days and walked around the Olympic Green taking pics and stuff. On Friday we only saw doubles, Williams sisters, Davenport/Huber, Federer/??? and some others. It was really cool cause we could really sit near the court. πŸ˜€ I made a lot of pics and vids.

The second day were finals, to bad we could not get on the center court with our tickets. πŸ™ Otherwise we could have seen Federed win gold probably. Anyway, we saw some semi finals and bronze medal matches. It was fun to see al the matches and specially Spain vs. China womens double. That was a finals match for bronze, which Spain won. But it was fun to see the Chinese supporters and how they react and act during a match.

Sunday: Chilaxing & Heiniken House
Just chillaxing at WDK and in the evening went to Holland Heiniken House to celebrate the winning of 2 gold medals and 1 silver. Gold & silver for rowing and Gold for swimming. It was one big party over there.