Memory Trips in Beijing

It’s been two years and one month since I was last in Beijing and it feels like a homecoming. I’d forgotten how many memories I have here. Suddenly, two years doesn’t seem like such a long time. I have been animated all evening, ever since the journey from the airport into the city centre, passing familiar restaurants and parks in which I can recount many a happy night’s entertainment. I don’t know why I am so surprised.

I touched down about 3:30 this afternoon and found my way to the hostel using directions I’d scribbled down last night whilst waiting for a cab. Its buried away right in the heart of Beijing immediately behind the Forbidden City, aptly named “Sitting on the City Walls.” You have to really look to find it as its hidden down a narrow HuTong that doesn’t look overly inviting to non-natives. But once you find it it’s a neat little hideout.

The progrmame officially starts tomorrow so I am making the most of a night to myself in the city before things get rolling in the morning. After a quick shower I was keen to get out and explore. A brief look at the map to get my bearings and the destination decided; Houhai, a favorite hangout of my last visit and a ten minute walk down the road. Its a lively bar district centered around a huge lake that really comes to life when it gets dark and all the bars light up their doors with neon lights. They also compete for the best live music, and you can spend the night bar hopping from one place to the next picking out the spots with the best music. So that’s what I did, just as I have before. Nothing’s much changed. I’m falling in love with Beijing all over again.

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