AIA#142 The %!@#* hole apartment in Beijing


It was a few years ago, when I started writing this blog. I was living in Beijing and had a lot of free time on my hands.

I had been teaching in Asia for some time and had little to show for it. But I did have stories.  And I knew if I didn’t try to write them down they’d be lost in time.

I had landed a cush job with little teaching hours. When I arrived in Beijing it was February and cold, very cold. It wsa Chinese New Year holiday and the whole city was shut down for about two weeks.

I had to meet my boss outside the city, then later they took me to my apartment.

My apartment complex was a bit on the dirty side. It was maybe about thirty or forty years old. Paint chipped off off the building and the place looked worn out, like it had been through a war or something. There was a trash bin close to the front door of the building. Small non-descript shops were on the ground floor. Their was a shop with old computers in it, another looked like a dry goods shop, selling drinks and hot sweet potatoes. On the opposite side there looked like restaurants, and what looked like a grocery store that had been closed down. Hundreds of bikes and mopeds parked in the sidewalk area. Some mopeds had been discarded as trash, as they had collected dust. The whole place looked like a miniature rundown war zone. If a tank and soldiers came though I wouldn’t be surprised.  The elevator had old stickers that advertised restaurants plastered on it. The hall ways were decorated with scribble and Chinese writing. The outside wasn’t very pleasant, but the apartment itself was nice and clean on the inside. It was small, but the clean kitchen, new bathroom, bed and TV, made up for the warzone outside.

It was a nice day, but windy and cold. I walked to the nearest grocery store and bought a few things I needed. It was a bit of a long walk, I tried to hail a taxi but they refused to take me. Maybe it was my beard or my sunglasses, I wasn’t sure. What I was sure of was that I freezing cold and would have gladly paid double for a ride.

I bought a kettle, some pans, silverware, coffee cups and some groceries. All the standard stuff I usually buy. I’ll admit it was cheaper than I thought it was going got be. I made my way home. The area was decent, not great, they had a Starbucks nearby, a very nice hotel, a small shopping mall and gyms.

So that’s my memory of landing in China for the first time.

After a few days of staying in my apartment, I realized I needed something to do during the day. Especially, because it was cold, and I didn’t want to go outside a lot.

So I started this blog. One of my goals was to document some of the countries I’ve been to. I also hope to add music and books I like, as well as interesting happenings, articles and paranormal mysteries. I had no real plan, I just wanted to start. I love the quote, “An imperfect something is better than a perfect nothing.” I know people that say they are going to start a blog or youtube channel, but they never do. It’s never the right time or they don’t have anything interesting to write about or they don’t have a good enough camera.

The truth is all you need is a mobile phone and the sky is the limit.

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