sassysage's Blog

Hot Off The Press: Travelblog- City Lights

Posted on: July 31, 2011

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Taking time off to reflect and refresh is an important part of leading a successful life.  You can’t climb the ladder if you’re tired and running out of steam.  So I’m a firm believer in taking time for vacations and trips away.    It gives me energy and inspires my creativity. Which is why I grabbed at the opportunity to travel to China last week.  Ladies, we’ve got to see the world to understand what a difference we can make in it!

I learned on this trip how much of a city girl I am. I just love the lights, noise, the crowds of people. And boy did I get a city experience being in Beijing and around its 18million residents. Beijing’s hussle and bussle puts NYC to shame. I will never complain about New York traffic again! There are way too many cars which will knock you down in a heartbeat (they do NOT stop for pedestrians). There are just as many cyclers (bicycles, moterbikes, rickshaws and these funny looking miniature carriages) zigzaging along the roads. There’s constant honking by drivers trying to force their way through the maze.  There’s no wonder the smog is enough to make anyone an instant asthmatic! Pollution is such a major issue,you literally can’t miss the thick clouds which envelop the city each day and mask the sun. They are working on making things better, such as the shuttle buses the government provides for free at the subway stops which take workers throughout the business district. Despite over 5 million riders per day, the subway is spotlessly clean.  Every rider has to go through security which is handled in an organized and cordial fashion. And its soo modern! USA we have a long way to catch up to what they have in Beijing (plug for our President’s plea to invest in infrastructure).
Walking around the Dashanzi Art District of Beijing (also known as 798 art space) was by far the coolest thing I have done.  Imagine hundreds of art galleries located in an open space the size of Central Park.  Not your stuffy and elitist gallery but a hip loft like vibe that you can walk in and out of like an open market.  The creations were just breathtaking.  I was totally lost in awe of the creativity of the Chinese artists and the photographers really grabbed my attention with some very interesting multi-media pieces.  As far as I know there is nothing like it in the US, so if you are ever in Beijing this is a MUST see.
The city is alive and had much to offer me including a tailored suit in two days flat, a 90 minute foot massage that lifted every stress I have had out of my life! Then there was Punk, the cool club filled with ex-pats and an eclectic mix of Beijingers dancing to everything from to hip hop, pop, trance and techno-rock.  For a city so large, it’s unbelievable how serenity knocked on my door twice!  First i was on the subway talking with my travelmates.  A rider noticed we were speaking in English and decided to join our conversation.  She was a junior at a college in Seattle and back home in China for the summer vacation.  As a Psychology major she was looking for some guidance on how to apply to Psych graduate programs in the US. As luck would have it that’s what I do and hopefully another female Dr. in training there will be.  To knock your socks off, the story gets better on Wednesday as I was walking in the hotel and heard my name called. I turned around and the person tells me her name. I still don’t recognize. Then she reminds me that we were in the 7th grade together and she recognized my face! I must admit hearing I haven’t aged is flattering but this was a bit much! Middle school reunion in Beijing. We squealed like school girls catching up on life.  Meeting around the globe for the first time in X years was such a delight.  The world is small and large at the same time I learned during my week in China; an amazing trip I will never forget…  

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