Ever wake up on an airport bench in Japan, hop a plane, end up in China a few hours later, and think to yourself, "Where am I and why am I here?" That was my morning. But I have arrived in Beijing and I'm staying at the Jade International Youth Hostel down the street from Tiananmen Square. I'm in a shared room with four beds. Why do they always give me the top bunk? You know, I haven't had a shared room in a hostel since Athens, Greece. In the Greek islands, shared rooms were sold out so I had to pay double for my own room. Egypt and India were so cheap I didn't have to stay in shared rooms. Anyway, it's back to no privacy and meeting strangers.
Last night I hopped the Yamanote line in Tokyo and popped out for a quick hello/goodbye to Shibuya [photo above] and Harajuku. It was amazing to see how familiar the streets were. I realized that I covered a LOT of ground last time I was in Japan. Still, there's much more I haven't seen and I'm going to have to return someday. This time around, it was all about taking it easy [aside from climbing a mountain] and spending time with friends. I was extremely sad to leave yesterday. I realized that I hadn't really had time to hang out with anyone from the States since Anthonette came out to Italy. I was really craving the comfort of people who knew me. I was really really bummed as I thought about getting back on the road to strange places and faces.
My first impressions of China- the air quality is not so wonderful. And there are a lot of Chinese people here. They're everywhere dude. Somehow I managed to hop three buses through the city to find my hostel. It's really funny to have these exchanges with people who speak no English. They just spew out words at me, I smile, and nod.
I was dying to brush my teeth and then I wondered, is the water safe to brush with here in Beijing? They say it is but I don't know if I want to mess with it. I miss you, Japan water. Man, I'm in China. So weird. I guess it's time to find food.