Yesterday was a lot of walking. After discovering that breakfast was available in our hostel (yay, quick coffee), we headed out to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Beijing is very wide, in terms of streets and sidewalks. There is very little shade, at least where we were (and yes, I got a sunburn, a small one).
There were so many people at both of those locations. MK kept commenting on the number of East Asian tourists and how that made her feel good about being a tourist. Everything is big. The buildings, the streets, the open spaces.
Once we were ready for lunch, I figured out that there was vegetarian restaurant relatively close by (walking distance). However, we probably should have called, because it definitely was not there. We walked back to this touristy area (there is a Starbucks touristy; Tip: Starbucks = Western style bathrooms). As we are starting to get a little grumpy from the plummeting blood sugar levels, we walk one block west into an entire different world. This is what I expected Beijing to be like. Smaller streets, lots of vendors, noise, color, and smells, mostly yummy food ones.
We jumped into the first restaurant on the corner. They had an English-ish menu. We ordered Mapo Tofu and Noodles with Soy Sauce. FYI – Mapo Tofu is not vegetarian, but the Noodles are. After eating we headed down the street, where AW got a Communist Obama tshirt, MK took a picture of an “I <3 BJ” shirt (Editor: I am pretty sure that BJ was meant to mean Beijing), and we saw a restaurant that offers Noodles with Sog Sauce. We of course have now dubbed ourselves as Team Sog Sauce, and Commie ‘Bamie is our mascot.
Once we got back to the hostel (which involved a miscommunication about what the goal of our walk was that had us walk nearly all the way around the Forbidden City – oops), we all just sort of crashed. I decided to take a nap. This nap lasted for 12 hours! I’d wake up everyone once in awhile and just think “nope” and go back to sleep. Sunburns are exhausting.