the beginnings of a cold

Posted by Gingerblossom at 10:31 PM

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

dammit... I'm falling sick!!! Scratchy throat, sniffles, sneezes... i hate falling sick!

Will I miss Beijing?

Posted by Gingerblossom at 4:09 AM

Monday, August 25, 2008

That's a good question and one I've been asked several times over the last 2 weeks. Honestly, I don't know. Beijing's only home because Daniel and the 2 cats are here. And what makes a place home? It's where your loved ones are of course...

I don't think I will miss the place that much really but I will miss the lifestyle and the friends I've made.

It's nice to be able to take the cab all the time without equating the cab fare to the number of bowls of bah chor mee I can have! It's defintely cheaper to cab here! Fine dining ( or Beijing's version of fine dining) is also cheaper than in Singapore and there's so much variety- chinese food, italiano, french, spanish, brazilian, ethiopian, moroccan...there's sure to be a new restaurant opening every week! The service is sometimes shakey and the quality of food doesn't always meet expectations but that's the whole fun behind trying out a new restaurant. When you do stumble on a gem, you appreciate it that much more! So that's another thing I will definitely miss about Beijing - being able to explore the dining scene without breaking the bank.

The changing of the season is another aspect I would miss. Winter in Beijing is horribly cold but indoor heating makes it bearable and sometimes, even enjoyable. I like autumn and winter for reasons to do with vanity more than anything else. It's a fantastic wearing boots ( i've got 4 pairs in use!!) and shopping for winter clothing is a novelty especially for someone who lives in Singapore where its perennially 24-30 deg celsius. No chance to wear coats!!! Back home, I've always loved going to Zara to try out the coats but I would have been mad to buy any. Having just spent 2 winters in Beijing, I already have far too many coats and scarves! Right now, I'm wondering what to do with all my coats... maybe they'll come in handy the next time I visit someplace cold. Hang on. I have to make a point to visit a place only in winter!

The people? Well, generally speaking, I won't miss the people of China. There's still a lot of behavioral modification required in the spitting, smoking, reckless driving/cycling/road crossing , shouting department. But I will miss the folks from the office. The 2 years at WS have been pretty interesting with all these eccentric characters at work. Any local friends i've made are from work and these people I'll miss most. They've helped me better understand how things work in China, the culture and basically helped me "acclimatise" to Beijing. Funny thing is, those I've gotten along best with do not seem to be typical China Chinese. They've seen the world a bit mroe than their counterparts and think ( as well as work) differently from most locals. These are the folks I'll miss!

What else will i miss? I'm not sure? Often, you only realise the importance of something after you've lost it. I never thought I would miss home much until I left. Now, I'm really looking forward to going home.

Cracking an Egg

Posted by Gingerblossom at 9:43 AM

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I decided to revert to tourist status today and braved the throngs of Olympic period tourists to visit the National centre for the Performing Arts aka national grand theatre aka The Egg. It's really an architectural marvel.. well at least to my undiscerning eye. From the outside, it was simply a giant glass and chrome dome surrounded by a shallow pond. From inside, you truly appreciate the thought that went into designing this theatre. My 30rmb entry ticket only allowed me into the corridors along the concert halls but there were sufficient sights to take my breathe away.. for a couple of seconds lah!

1. The water ceiling walkway
On the surface level of the theatre, this looked like a pond. From below, you'll realise that it's cunningly built with glass panels to allow maximum amount of natural light into the basement levels of the theatre, while using the flowing motion of water above as a design element. This walkway leads you into the main theatre venue and as you walk through, you feel a certain calm and lightness of being ( you'll need to be an expert in blocking out the loud bellows from the local folks to experience this!)

2. Inside the egg itself
It was all glass and metal and some parts paneled with wood. Light streamed into this massive structure thanks to the huge amount of glass used in the design. I have no words or it. Just plenty of pictures. And a wise man once said "a picture paints a thousand words"