a few observations on beijing so far:
the air pollution is astonishingly bad. it's worse than mexico city. the sky is grey and i'm told it's a rare day when you see blue sky. it reminds me of the animatrix where they talk about how the "burnt the sky" in desperation. if you think seattle is grey and dingy...
on a more positive note, you can see new buildings and construction everywhere. china is marching along to becoming the next superpower and it's painted across the landscape in so many fancy sky scrapers. the hotel i'm at (grand hyatt) is fantastic and my pal alex and i ate at a superb restaurant called "LAN Club" which was designed by Phillip Starck and achingly cool. everything seems to really be gearing up for the 2008 olympics here in beijing.
pedestrians do not have the right of way, they have to get the hell out of the way! cars follow their own rules and since you're walking on foot, you lose. the rationale seems to be as old as the schoolyard rules: they're bigger and faster.
now it's time for a little tour led by visiting guide alex chou...
i have no clue what this street is called by it's got all the standard tacky tourist stuff along with wacky street food
... and onto the wacky street food. here's live scorpions skewered and ready to be stir-fried.
ah yes, and if scorpions aren't yer flavor, how about some cicada larvae at various stages of growth? science project or snack? you decide!
and now for something a little tamer: a couple of guys playing chinese chess on the side of the street where alex and i had classic beijing style noodles with a tsing tao.