for some reason, the post i wrote yesterday about my first independent day in beijing and eating alone got deleted! 😦 oh well. these past few days, i’ve had to ride the train around everywhere in beijing. beijing is a huge city but the train system is AWESOME! the trains run on time, are pretty frequent and there is basically a stop everywhere. today, i think i spent a total of almost three hours on various trains traveling.
the worst part about the subway system in beijing is that there are SO.MANY.PEOPLE. this morning, i got on the train at one of the earlier stops so was lucky enough to have a seat. i had 14 stops before i had to get off so i slowly drifted off into a quick nap… when i fell asleep, the train was relatively empty but when i woke up just three stops later, the train was PACKED. literally. it was like stuffing 20 people into an elevator meant for 10. there was barely any space for anybody to move around. by the time i had to get off, there were still tons of people so i had to push my way to the door and could finally breathe after getting off.
other things i saw while riding the subway: 1) a random man playing guitar. his voice was actually really good but i couldn’t tell if he was doing it for enjoyment or for money. most likely for money. 2) beggars. in just one day, i saw two old men, one old women and a man whose leg seemed to be crippled. it saddens me to see them begging for money on the subway but i often wonder. i’ve read articles about how sometimes crippled/old people are exploited to pose as beggars to “earn” money for a different cause. yes, i feel bad for them but i also kind of feel bad about being weary about giving them money. i do hope they are well intentioned though. 3) a man collecting empty bottles and selling newspapers. he had a little cart that he pushed around the train cars. so smart! people get really bored on the train so selling newspapers ON the train is such a good idea.
for lunch today, i got two baozi from a little stand by the train station. they were SO cheap and there were a ton of varieties! two baozi only cost me 2.3 yuan which is only about 30 cents. super like. planning to go back tomorrow to try a different kind!
in the afternoon, i was pretty hungry so i stopped by the local supermarket to pick up a few snacks. for some reason, i was really craving pizza. not sure why since annenberg pizza was never very good anyways, but the closest thing i found was this pizza bread thing from the bakery. it turned out to be alright and satisfied my pizza craving! also got a peach jello drink (THESE ARE AWESOMEEEE!) and a chocolate chip pineapple bun. all of this for under two USD! success.