Snapshots of the week

My last post was kind of whiny and dour, and really, I don’t despair about those things, I kind of just accept it. Stupid people are found everywhere in the world, so I hope China doesn’t come across as any worse than other places. There are certain things in my life here that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Just from this week:

  1. The view from my office: It was actually quite smoggy on Monday, but somehow by sunset it had started to clear up, and the resulting sunset over the mountains had a reddish-purple glow. When Beijing is nice, it can be breathtaking to take in the view of skyscrapers seemingly stretching all the way out to the mountains in the horizon. Unfortunately, we’re moving offices this weekend.
  2. Sanlitun Noodle Bar: This place serves stir-fried stuff that’s been ban‘d with mian. And every single one of their noodle dishes is delicious, so it’s always jammed pack around lunch and dinner. The best part is that it’s a family-owned shop with a streak of individualism, but its quirks aren’t weird — they work. For example, the menus are handwritten (in Chinese scribbles) on music composition books, with only a limited selection of noodle and side dishes. This is such a refreshing change from the picture encyclopedia of dishes that most Chinese restaurants offer.
  3. Huge Wave: I have found a shoe store in Beijing selling authentic designer shoes for reasonable (i.e., American) prices! That’s how I got these two pairs of BCBGs for RMB 960 (USD 151). It’s going to be tough to stay away, especially since they are having a sale now.
  4. Tomatoes: When they’re in season and ripe, they are oh-so-good. We made a tomato soup earlier this week that needed nothing but a little garlic, a dash of salt and a bit of cream, and then this gazpacho salad.

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