It’s been 3 days since I’ve back to Beijing, and arriving back all seems so surreal. When I first arrived in Manila, I was talking to a friend and happened to mention that our trip to Beijing seems surreal; and now, it’s Manila that seems so surreal, as if I was never home for the ‘vacation’. Coming back here is quite nostalgic, it’s as if the place hasn’t changed at all…but it has.
The weather upon our arrival was definitely much colder than back in Manila. The snow from last week is on the ground and not melting, so I get to appreciate at least that. Last time we arrived in Beijing we took the China Southern airline from Manila-Xiamen (stopover)-Beijing. This time, me and my friend decided to take something else, so we took Cathay Pacific’s Manila-HK (stopover 2hours)-Beijing. We were quite excited to take the HK stopover option as it was cheaper than taking PAL (Philippine Airlines) option from Manila directly to Beijing, and me and my friend both love Hong Kong. And true enough, the airport was as I remembered it, or well actually…it was much better than I had remembered it from my last trip in 2007. Wasn’t able to buy anything though Zara was quite tempting (yes, Zara inside the airport!) and well….couldn’t find the Disney Airport store so that was a bit disappointing. The HK International Airport is quite amazing, like a huge maze, and all shiny and new-looking, and quite classy. Our trip to Beijing from HK was supposed to be aboard a Dragon Air plane but for some reason, we rode a Macau Air (?) plane, but oh well, as long as I got to Beijing I didn’t mind much. The plane landed at Terminal 3 so I was quite happy to have seen the illustrious Dragon Terminal which I had heard about on a show on Discovery Channel, regarding its construction and design.
Luckily it didn’t take much to get used again to the weather in Beijing, though the air feels quite different. Maybe it’s because it’s quiet, as most people are back in their hometowns for the holidays and such. Maybe it’s the effect of the snow on the ground. Beijing just feels a bit different, and a bit lonelier since most of my friends are back home in their respective countries. It was quite the re-greeting of familiar faces yesterday and awhile ago when I bumped into my schoolmates and teachers. 3 weeks didn’t seem to faze us in the least, it’s as if it never happened. Still, me and my roommate had to have our delicious Korean-styled chicken something from this Korean restaurant that was introduced to us last December by some fellow Chinoy friends. It’s quite oily, delicious but can kill you when eaten too often, but still…soooo good. I missed it while back in Manila.
Since it’s back to Beijing, I’ll probably gain weight again from all the oily food and big servings, but I’m going to try to cut down on other foods though I’ll still try to enjoy the food they have here. Will have to see what happens, especially when the weather starts to get warmer in April. Crossing my fingers! But for now, enjoying good food here in Beijing, winter weight, holiday weight, and all those excuses I can’t readily make back home. For now, my quiet Beijing is not really quiet as today is the last day for the Chinese New Year celebration. Happy Lantern festival, apparently. And oh, someone just lit up some low fireworks in the courtyard beside my building, awesome! According to my roommate, this is probably why there are some areas around Beijing that has black snow, it’s probably dirt from the fireworks. Haha.
The cold, the snow, commuting by bus and walking the rest of the way……Beijing, I’m so back!