Beijing- Week 6 (?) The end is nigh, but I have an egg

Let’s see, what did I do this week since the last post? There was a super boring event on Thursday that I helped man. Jing-A had a station selling beer, and typically our beer goes like hotcakes. This time, we sold 9 (!) cups of beer over an 8 hour period. Incredibly boring.

Friday brought more fun, as Jing-A welcomed famous vloggers from Shang-hai to collaborate on a beer. We rolled around Beijing handing out free beer in the “Keg Egg,” a wonderful little motorized vehicle that can zoom around in Beijing’s bike lanes (pics included!). We were handing out our new beer, Beijing Bikini- a name that plays on a particular habit of old Chinese men, where they raise their shirts above their huge bellies on a hot day. Luckily, we found the perfect guys to share a beer with: old shirtless hutong men!

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Afterwards, we had a mini party at a coworkers house where I wowed my bosses with both my ability to drink as well as my ability to DJ. I met their dog, a little pug named Jerry whose back legs were deformed. That didn’t stop the little pup from playing hard- he was honestly the cutest thing. We then all went out to Chinese, and then I went clubbing with Sarah (the other intern) and some other friends from W&M who are studying abroad in Beijing. This particular club was called “Playhouse,” and it played American hip hop hits. Ugh, that was one thing I really missed. Clubs that didn’t play techno, house, or electronic music.

The next day, I was discussing with my boss Alex about how the Keg Egg saw no regular use. I had cleaned it before we rolled out the day before, as it was grimy and gross. He agreed, and he entrusted the Egg to me for the rest of the summer. I repeat: I HAVE THE EGG FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMER. I am rolling around everywhere, and I love it. People think it’s the funniest thing; this antiquated weird looking vehicle being driven around by some foreigner. I get thumbs up and smiles everywhere I go. It’s my new favorite thing!

On Sunday, Sarah and I went to visit my friends studying abroad. We took the Keg Egg, but little did I know that the battery hadn’t been charged. We barely made it, with little time to spare. Luckily, I brought the charger. Unluckily, the university guards refused to let us bring it in anywhere! They said it would “explode” if we tried to charge it. My friends and I formulated a plan; we would sneak the battery in a backpack into the library and leave it in there while it charges. This plan required me to lug this 60 lb battery all the way across campus- it was hellish. But it worked! We got the battery charged and headed home… until it died halfway back. I found a secluded place on the sidewalk, and we took the battery and left the Egg. Unfortunately, you need a Chinese bank account or an international credit card to use Didi (no Uber in China, Didi is their equivalent) and no taxis would show up. So we had to overpay a Chinese person to pay our way back home (150 RMB!!). Frustrating stuff, he refused to just call it for us without an upcharge. In the morning we taxi’d back, and it was 15 RMb. 15!! Crazy. Anyways, moral of the story is to never count your eggs before they’ve hatched, or some other egg related pun regarding not knowing the battery life.

It was with great sadness that I realized my time with my new intern was already halfway over- a whole week and a half left. She’s only here for 3 weeks, and it’s felt simultaneously long and short at the same time. She’s become ubiquitous in the office, and we’ve harbored a great friendship out of such a little time. She’s already invited me to her 21st birthday back in Australia! I love those kinds of connections. The expat community here in Beijing is super friendly, and is always looking to welcome a fellow traveler.

She and I visited the Lama Temple, a beautiful compound that housed many famous Buddhist statues. I don’t know much about Buddhism, but luckily Sarah has a Buddhist friend, So I actually learned a fair bit about the culture. It was fun, and another lovely thing to check off the bucket list. Summer Palace, here I come!

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