Tiananmen, Forbidden City, JingShan Park, Peking Duck

OL and I decided to check out our hotel/hostel restaurant. Big mistake. First off the girl has a bill counter that she thinks tests the veracity of the bill. No dumbass that is just a bill counter.

She runs our bill through it 10 times. A bill OL just got at the HSBC ATM yesterday. So um it’s real. She takes another one from him. Same issue. The she runs one from her cash register through. It still doesn’t work. Yes idiot your cash machine is broken because it doesn’t verify the authenticity of a bill. And a comparison to one in your cash register doesn’t prove anything.

So we go to the buffet. It’s a fucking joke. For 38 yuan. Nearly $7 American. You get a small scrambled egg which god new how long was there, boiled egg, pancakes which looked ancient, egg roll of greasyness. There is tea or coffee. Then there is cereal and dried oatmeal which is okay with butter and sugar. Actually the best part of the meal.

There is bread and jam and nutella.

Dried out fruit. Ew. OL gets bananas cause they change colors when turning. There is some pickled veggies, suspicious looking meals and cheeses.

We avoid all of them.

At other hotels, breakfast was $2-4 American dollars and good. This shits the bed. More than that it is just another example of how much this country hates tourists and seeks only to rip them off.

But we wanted to get a quick start and get to the Forbidden City. So we ate there.

Headed up to Qianmen to get to Tiananmen. Not as easy as it sounds because of how streets are uncrossable. I think we needed 4-5 underpasses to get there.

We walked up to Tiananmen, where we encountered the ferocious mao line.

Legions of people line up to shuffle by his remains. Most of Tiananmen is taken up with the line.

Figure out a way to the Forbidden City using underpass. As soon as we start out of subway, an Asian girl starts harassing us. Asking us questions. We walk away.  She follows. Finally OL just says no. She calls him a shit so he tells her she’s a shit.

This is par for the course here. Most peopler are looking to rip you off. And pissed when you don’t want to fall for their scheme.

The crowds are bad, but the elbowing shoving and jarring is downright barbaric. We are not in a mosh pit people, and I use that term loosely because I have never seen human beings act the way they do here.

Ticket buying is difficult because most ticket booths are not well labeled. We accidentally got in line and bought tickets to go up in Tiananmen gate. Which we didn’t even want to do.

The Forbidden City ticket line is an exercise in frustration. First some asshole who’s hawking tickets lies is yelling about there being a two hour wait for tickets. I ignore him and get into line. Or rather the penned in single file lines that someone is constantly cutting in front of with a nice shove at the window.

Old lady keeps hitting me with her umbrella. Guy behind me is seriously molesting my back with his elbow. Awful. I don’t know why lining up is such an ordeal here.

And this whole it’s cultural argument is bull shit. You either have a sense of personal space and respect others, or you don’t. And they don’t.

Because Hong Kong and Shanghai are not like this. Which to me disproves the cultural crap.

Finally get the tickets and OL and I join the herd of jackals entering the Forbidden City. It’s a free for all. Seriously.

Many of the ceremonial halls are closed to visitors. Kinda disappointing since guidebook talked about them.

Still the architecture is amazing to see. I just wish they has better control of the crowding. It was so much better 13 years ago than it is now.

But they do have the doors to a few buildings but roped off. I can see why. Chinese shove jostle elbow and pretty much kick to get a view before anyone else. Don’t try waiting patiently for your turn because it is Never ever your turn here. It’s whoever bullies the most who gets to see.

I stop trying after two experiences with this crap.

Honestly, the people ruined the experience for me. I don’t get why anyone would act like an animal in public at a historic site.

To drive home the point, some woman yells at her kid and spits food on OL. Fucking spits on him. He’s like Kour I’ve been to Yemen and never got spit on.

We try to make the best of it but honestly you can’t under these conditions.

You don’t want to know how much effort it took for this shot. I basically had to put aside all sense of human decency and wade into the mosh pit. Elbows and parasol utilized to fullest extent. It’s all about bullying. And I hate it. That’s why there aren’t other pics of the inside of places.

We try to see what we can and leave.

Go to nearest McDonalds and have lunch. It Ofc is a trek. I get the spicy chicken sandwich by accident. Damn you picture menu.

Some boho caucasian girl comes up and asks me if I speak English. I hesitate. Is this a scam?  Unsure, I say yes. She asks if I know a good hostel in area. I look at OL. He says no we aren’t staying around here. Who goes to a foreign country without a reservation or a list of potential places to stay?!

And our hotel/hostel is a couple miles away and the opposite of good.

We walk back to Jingshan park. Enroute we see a kid standing on the top of stairs to a building entrance on a busy street squatting and peeing with his mom holding his hand. Clearly encouraging him.

Evidently children pissing and shitting on the streets is a common practice here as evidenced by the assless and crochless pants kids wear here. Kids being anywhere from a  baby to 5. How is teaching your kid to pee and poo on the street potty training? I don’t know why they don’t have pooper scooper laws.

I’ve seen a woman walk her kid in our hutong to get it to shit. I say it because frankly this is not human behavior to me. Public sanitation seems to be unheard of here. Or at least unwelcome.

We get to Jingshan Park.

We see the spot the emperor hung himself.

We climb up for a panoramic view of the Forbidden City. It’s worth the hike up the hillside. Gorgeous.

Also a super cool Buddha in the temple up at the top.

Sadly, all the pagodas on the hill were being simultaneously renovated. During the summer high season. This Ofc makes sense if you hate your tourists, which China seems to outside of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

We wander around park and make our way back to McDonalds for Oreo mcflurries. Enroute old man jumps off bike in front of grandkid and presses one nostril while blows his nose out onto sidewalk. Disgusting.

And the spitting. Oh god. It brings to mind hissing snakes.

Then took the Dongsi subway to Heping men and walked down to hotel. Passed liulichang.

A Caucasian guy comes up and asks if I speak English again. I’m like yes. He asks where the night market is. I tell him not around here. Its near wangfujing. He says cab won’t take him there. How is this my problem? Your vacay you figure it out.

Since going we’re to the Great Wall tomorrow, we decided to hit store for food for breakfast in room. Ol got bread. I had nothing went to Muslim supermarket and found croissants and cookies. On way back, we missed hutong street. Lol. I reminded OL it was before chicken lady, literally the lady who sits out on the side of the street with her chicken.

Dinner was Peking Duck. Delicious.

OL hates the skin so more fatty deliciousness for me. He loved the plum sauce. The restaurant was nice and we decided to go back again. I picked up a couple tshirts on the stroll home.

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8 Responses to Tiananmen, Forbidden City, JingShan Park, Peking Duck

  1. Lucas says:

    The peeing and pooping in public is shocking. I’m glad you had your parasol to hit people with. You definitely got some great pictures even though you had to be a gladiator to get them.

    • Especially when you see Hermes and Rolex stores and Starbucks. There are the trappings of wealth juxtaposed with extreme poverty and lack of proper hygiene. I tried twice with the pics of indoor rooms. Then I gave up. That mosh pit attitude is just not something I want to engage in on vacay. Gladiator-LOL so true. 🙂

  2. berry says:

    When does the trip get fun again. I am really getting tired of all this crap. I’m sorry to say I just don’t like China. The food is even bad. Go back to Hong Kong. Leave the city of filth and doom.

    • It has fun moments but Beijing was a huge disappointment to me. I lived there for a summer and loved it in 1998. But this time around. Not so much. Food was a major problem for us. If we had a bigger budget we might have eaten better but we didn’t want to blow more than $30/day on food. LOL. Sorry if it’s not fun to read. I wanted to capture my ups and downs of traveling in Asia.

    • berry says:

      It’s not ur fault. But being subjected day after day is depressing and makes trip long and tiring. Poor you. Keep the faith.

      • I debated not posting the rest of the trip after I got robbed. Because they really cast a dark shadow over things. But I figured it’s best to tell the entire story as it unfolded. Even if I hated parts of it. For every 4 bad things, usually one good thing happened. 😛 That’s how my travel buddy and I came to see it. Endure and endure and eventually we’d see a rainbow. Even if it was only for a moment.

  3. berry says:

    I guess I just don’t understand why they don’t treat you better. More money for them. Right. Not smart business.. well stay safe.

    • I think everyone is focused on short term profit especially those who don’t have money. They see others getting rich and they want to as well. But getting rich isn’t easy unless you have connections and/or are a great business man. There is a tremendous amount of frustration brewing in this country over the wealth disparity. At the historic sites, they aren’t thinking about preserving them, they want to make as much money off them as they can. Which means too many people there trying to see the same thing at once. We think they should have timed entrances and more security to make sure people aren’t harming the buildings.

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?