HA Member Meetups in Beijing Over Qingming
On Saturday morning I met Caleb at the food court in the supermarket right next to where I live, and with him was a 23 year old British guy called Jason who was also attending the same teacher training program as magnum for First Leap (name of the school). I had Korean food while magnum had his favorite baozi and Jason had some soup which I don't know the name of.
After we had breakfast together we all went to Jason's apartment for a while, which he shared with a Canadian woman named Dana that again was training with the same company. Then magnum, Jason and I all went to Zhongguancun to get magnum's phone hacked so that he could replace his American plan with a Chinese one. After we got off at the Zhongguancun subway station we met this Canadian dude called Steven (he has a Chinese fiancee from Yunnan) who was there to help us and show magnum and Jason around the place.
We first went to the Apple store to get his phone hacked, but thought the price was a bit too much. looked all around the Zhongguancun mall for a better deal but didn't find one, so we ended up going back there. Still had to bargain though.
After Zhongguancun and lunch we decided to go back to Wangjing to take a break. Steven went his own way. It was about 4:30 PM then, so magnum and Jason asked me where to go for dinner. I suggested that we go to Solana, which was a restaurant/bar area/shopping mall area. Jason went back to his own apartment where he made Skype calls to his family back in the UK for about 2.5 hours, while magnum and I went back to his apartment and we watched some anime along with The Walking Dead.
At about 7:30 Dana, Jason, magnum and I went to Solana. After looking around, we settled for a Chinese restaurant where we had some awesome stir fry beef and mutton. Magnum grabbed some white fungus soup which he loved. After dinner we went back to Wangjing again, but had a bit of difficulty getting a taxi.
SUNDAY: I ate at an Indian restaurant at Liangmaqiao. After eating I was full, so I walked home from Liangmaqiao to Wangjing. 1.5 hour walk. Then I watched Captain America 2.
MONDAY: Met up with Everdred and his GF in the afternoon. We just hanged out all over the place, took a long walk. Then for dinner we decided to have Beijing roast duck since it was Everdred's first time in Beijing. The restaurant was decent but not fantastic. The duck was alright, but nothing especially deserving praise.
Then Everdred's GF was tired and she decided to go back to the hotel, while Everdred and I stayed outside. We decided to call magnum to meet up with us. Magnum, Jason, Dana, and Steven all came as they finished training at about the same time. They exited the subway at Jianguomen station. The 4 were all hungry, so we went back to the same restaurant and they ordered the same roast duck. The 2 Canadians Steven and Dana decided to order Yanjing beer. As I never really had beer before, I was curious and ended up drinking half a bottle before I could not take any more.
After dinner Jason, Dana, and Steven decided to go, leaving me, magnum, and Everdred. I was getting a bit tired by then, so I didn't talk too much while magnum and Everdred were talking about fitness. At about 9:30 PM I wanted to go home, so the two took me to Jianguomen where I boarded the subway.
What continued was to be the most horrible return trip of my life up to this point. It was like my 2nd time taking the Beijing subway, and I got totally confused by having to transfer lines so many times. I got off at the wrong station a couple of times or forgot to switch lines. By the time I got to Wangjing West (one station away from Wangjing station, which is the closest to where I live), it was 11:30 PM. I saw that Wangjing West and Wangjing station were right next to each other horizontally, but failed to realize that once again I had to transfer to another line. So I stayed on that train, which ended up going north to Beiyuan.
I got off at Beiyuan at nearly midnight, and my train was the last one of the day. A guy got off right beside me, and I asked him whether I could still get a taxi at such a late hour. Fortunately, he was a black taxi driver. Thank The Lord and Savior! God had sent me help! If it were not for him, I would have been stranded outside for the night. He charged me 40 kuai, saying that it would cost 50 to 60 kuai for a normal taxi to go the distance from Beiyuan to Wangjing.
Overall, it was an awesome holiday, except for the end part. Oh well, I guess my late night return trip on the subway was actually a positive experience, as it taught me a lesson: I need a map.
If my bitchy mom were in Beijing, I would have been screwed all over.