Beijing – First Impressions

We’ve now been in Beijing for just over a week and are starting to settle in. The city is HUGE – with a population of 25 million it’s just under three times as big as London. This leads to giant motorways running through the city and people just everywhere. We take the metro a few times each day for getting to language classes and seeing sights and it is an exhausting experience – the metro system itself can’t be faulted as there never seem to be any delays (cough cough London underground) but there are just so many people trying to get everywhere that the trains are packed closer than the London rush hour, but all the way through the day and on every line. What would be nice, too, is if the metro maps corresponded with what metro lines and stations actually exist, which doesn’t always seem to be the case! Crossing roads is another interesting experience – I feel we get through quite a few life or death moments each day as there are so many lanes to get across and no one takes any notice of the lights.
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On a more positive note, now the jet lag has worn off and we are starting to get used to the constant feeling of being hot and sweaty it is clear that Beijing is a great city. I will probably write a different post about the amazing food, but one of the things we have been enjoying is the fact that small and very fluffy dogs are clearly very much the fashion here. Here’s a couple of pics, the best I could get without looking like a complete freak running after said small fluffy dogs with a camera phone:

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