The other day I had a Peking duck dinner with friends in a small and authentic restaurant in an old hutong (just a normal night in Beijing) in a part of the city where I hadn’t been before. After dinner the others went to a bar (a karaoke place called Uranus), but since I’m
boring studying really hard for a big test, I decided to go home and avoid the alcohol and have an early night sleep.
While walking to the subway I recognized some of the buildings around me and suddenly realized that Tiananmen and the Forbidden City were around the corner. My resolution of going home early suddenly dissapeard and I decided to have an evening walk. I walked around (it’s closed at night) one of the largest squares in the world and passed the entrance of the Forbidden City. Even at night people were taking pictures of themselves in front of Mao Zedong’s big portrait.
The entrance of the Forbidden City, with Mao Zedong’s famous portrait.
Normally these places are crowded with people and this makes it, for me at least, hard to really grasp the meaning and importance of their history. But walking there late at night, when it was – relatively of course, it’s still Beijing – quiet and not crowded, it was so special to be there. It reminded me why I got so fascinated by this country and why I – not knowing anything about the country, the language or the culture – decided when I was 15 that I wanted to study Chinese in university. This little walk made me fall in love with Beijing again.
Pictures are taken with my crappy iPhone, I’m sorry for the poor quality.