Saturday, April 01, 2006


My school is right on the Third Ring Road, one of the major traffic arteries in Beijing.

There are now five ring roads in and around the city. Being on a ring road makes transportation easier, though I don't particularly care for busy streets. I'm in the northern part of the West Third Ring Road, in Haidian district, which is where most of the colleges and universities are. My school is at the location of the red dot.

There aren't nearly as many bikes on the streets as there were the last time I was in China, in 96-99, but they are still here. And there are still a good number of men hauling stuff on big trikes with flat beds on the back. It looks like this guy is hauling recyclables.

This guy's got a smaller load, but you can see him and the trike more clearly.

Here's a bike repairman's shop set up by the side of a small street. These aren't nearly as common as they were before, but there are still a good many around.

Most if not all of the sidewalks along big streets around here are covered with little advertisement stickers. They're for internet bars that also issue make name chops and issue "certificates". I'm not sure what all of that is about. I'll have to ask someone.

Here's a sign for a blind masseur close to where I live.

This is the Michael Jordan store. It's called "Jordan [China]". People still know about the Chicago Bulls here. The basketball court on campus (and every other campus I pass by) is always filled.

This is the Beijing Dance Academy, where Zhang Ziyi (of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "House of Flying Daggers") went to dance school. It's a stone's throw from my school.

I finally saw House of Flying Daggers about a week ago. I didn't like it. I think I may have finally outgrown bad martial arts movies. The director, Zhang Yimou, has made some pretty good movies in the past, but now he seems to have sold out. He makes crap and he gets paid lots of money for it.

Outside of the Nationalities University (民族大学), there are a lot of "ethnic" restaurants where you can find foods from Western China. Here's a small Muslim-run shop that sells cakes, and beside it (with the red doors) is a Tibetan bar.

This is "Million Land House". I've seen a couple of places like this--fake Western facades with Ionic columns (they're off to the sides in this picture, so you can't really see them) on the front of regular buildings. Both times, they have been restaurants.