Today we went to Beijing. We were out by 8: the smog was out and so were we. Nine of us session two summer staff, plus a few old (AKA experienced) summer staff, prepared to take on China’s public transport. If you know anything about Chinese public transport – well, it’s almost the exact opposite of public transport in the US. Crowded, each-man-for-himself, and absolutely no personal bubble are a few defining characteristics. We first walked about a kilometer, and waited for our bus. Turns out, bus 49 that we had waited for so long on Sunday was, in fact, a left turn instead of a right. After about an hour-long ride, we transferred onto the subway and continued to ride and transfer from train to train on the subway.
We went to the Temple of Heaven Park, walked around, joined in on a dance-exercise class (Chinese Zumba?), then after walking around some more, at the subway we broke up. KK and Emily had to go to the Embassy to see if they could work out some visa issues, May and Greta weren’t feeling very well, so it was Chloe, Abbie, Thomas, Sam (who hadn’t been in China 24 hours yet), and me, taking on the back roads of BJ. We went to one touristy area, with small shops and food stands. There were a couple stands that sold scorpion. On Thomas’ list of things to do was to eat a scorpion. After looking high and low and finally finding a bathroom in the middle of a mall, Thomas finally got his wish. Except that these scorpions were smaller, so they were sold in 3’s. So we had three scorpions. Sam ate another with Thomas, for comradarie and support. One left, and I ate it. Turns out, they’re crunchy and a tad salty but otherwise very bland. I ate it half for bragging rights (how many people do you know have eaten a scorpion?), half because somebody needed to finish it off and nobody else was going to!
After the scorpion-eating, the rest of the day was a vague memory… I feel that if you walk the distances we walked, that tends to happen. The important part is that we got back, safe and sound. Empowered by scorpions. rawr.
This post was originally written around June 5, but I needed access to a VPN and free time, both of which I finally got today. Hope you enjoy it!