Beijing, China was a tough trip for me. I won’t return, ever, and we absolutely couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Yes, those are brazen statements, rarely used by any serious traveler and many will disagree. I truly hope you will add to this post and prove me wrong or at the very least, that I’m narrow minded.
When I travel, I follow the rules of the Country we are in. You will never hear me say, “well, in America we….”. I travel to experience the culture, food, beauty or lack of, wherever we go. I am NOT the ugly American who runs his mouth or sticks out in any way. I follow the rules
Beijing was no exception. I wrote about the quirky Taxi and Bus drivers and of the way people exit a plane. Problem is that what I thought was just quirky is actually a lifestyle.
Things I get about Beijing: Beijing is ~13,500,000 people confined in a large city with limited space, that that requires a certain level of efficiency in it’s people, to just get from A to B, that pleasantries, manners and social interaction can, at times, take a back seat to existing in a such a large city and I also get that sometimes you’re just a prick.
We did a lot of sightseeing. Not once, did anyone ever bother, threaten or even say anything to us. Nothing. Big city normal. I get it, no problem. I have what is called a “resting bitch face”. Lilly is constantly on me to smile, so maybe it’s me? No…Lilly is beautiful by any Country’s standards and lights up every room she enters. They treated her like crap too. At least they’re consistent.
Things I don’t get about Beijing: In waiting lines you gently but firmly push people aside and cut in front. This was all the time, all ages, and I would have been angry but this was happening to everyone. I’m taking a picture, you step directly in front of me and take yours. In stores, you step in front of me and take what you want. I bump you, I say excuse me or sorry, you say nothing (maybe that’s an American thing though), You spit, hack up phlegm and litter anywhere you like. You push, shove and force your way through stores, malls and buses. But ok, your Country your rules. I smile at you, you scowl back, I say “hello” as I pass a Police Officer and I literally get grunted at, every time. I ask for directions, you know nothing and look completely annoyed.
I have never been around a people who have been so adamant about refusing to learn any “English” in any of my travels. But since I know zero Mandarin or Cantonese, I can live with that. Unless, I wanted your business, than I better damn well learn the basics.
Bottom Line: You (the people of the large area of Beijing that we covered) clearly don’t want tourists. No how, no way. You seem to have copied the landmark name of “The Forbidden City” and have taken it to heart.
We Travelled to Beijing to quietly and respectfully experience your Culture and to learn what it is to be from this part of China. I can’t dismiss this as a “few bad apples” as we interacted with a huge amount of people. We experienced your Culture, then we left as fast as we could.
We have friends at home from China who may be disheartened by this article. I choose to believe that you (our friends) represent the best of China and hope to continue hearing about the positives of your Country.