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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Want to ride a bus, anyone?

I stayed in Beijing for a week from Dec 26, 2007 to Jan 1, 2008.

It was a good time to visit Beijing, to appreciate the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in the cold and very windy winter. And indeed I saw plenty visitors from all over the world in those places. People speak all kinds of languages and some of foreign visitors can speak Chinese too.

But when I was outside of the tourist attractions, I saw no foreign visitors. When I was in a public bus, or when I was in a small neighborhood restaurant, or when I was in a local convenient store, I had no foreign visitor in sight! Where did they go? What did they do?

I sincerely hope that Beijing's attraction is beyond the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. And people (at least those who take Mandarin lessons) are courageous enough to explore some small wonders in the nearby neighborhoods, and can have the opportunity to see ordinary people's lives.