Sunday, June 14, 2009

On foot and tricycle in Beijing

Cable powered bus in Beijing
If you look closely along the side of the bus, you will see the rope that the driver has just pulled to reconnect the power connectors back to the overhead wires. Apparently it is unsightly to have the wires present around Tiananmen Square and so they have to disconnect as they traverse around the Imperial Palace.

Walking the neighborhood this morning I noticed a lot of new construction (very much in the mode of the old with brick and typical tile roofs) but it was all grey. So I asked, and this is the authentic original color. And I thought about it, and perhaps someone ought to cough gently in the direction of the Secretary of Energy and note that not all the world has California’s climate. When it gets cold in winter (and it does here and in a number of other places) having a while house is not as warming as an alternate color (such as grey). These are the houses and compounds off the main drag, when you go down the alley ways between the shops, and discover the small walled compounds which were and are a feature of old Beijing.

We had a tour of those parts, along the lake and near the Bell and Drum Towers, with transport by tricycle rickshaw. It was the best way to see that part of town, though it was full of bars, going around at 3:30 pm meant that there was little business yet, though it is much more active later. In preparation they were putting plush sofas out on the sidewalk.
And then it was time to head back to the Airport, much less hassle now as we are travelling within China, and as the journey began to catch up with me I had to be woken to be driven through the dark to my new hotel. Of which more in the morning.