I rarely struggle with words… yet Beijing has humbled me (rather: taught me that life is continual learning, unlearning & having the knowledge to know that you can never truly know.)
I visited Beijing for the first time (for there will be future visits. Of that I’m sure) in early March. The air was still crisp – clear almost – and winter was taking what I assume is its last shallow bite before the spring. A beautiful time of year. Expectant & yet so full of life.
As a traveler, I always try (yes, try) to see places with fresh eyes and a clear mind. To venture boldly into spaces without the weight of prejudice and people’s laments, skepticism and “It’s not like here”s. After all, I’m not sure where my “here” really is…
Yet, Beijing was different. I listened to what people said. I even trusted the “information” in books supposedly on and about China (by non-Chinese people mostly). I didn’t believe it all.But I listened. Perhaps it is in part because I listened that Beijing awed me so much. Still does. It took me by such welcome and glorious surprise. A surprise so beautiful I can only describe it as realising I’d fallen deeply, madly & truly in love with a stranger.
Beijing is surreal.
Words fail me, but pictures, they say, speak a 1000 words.
Purple Bamboo Park – fun, laughter, cheer and serenity
The food – a world of flavours, intricate detail and charm
The veil of misperception fully torn – the sights/sites, sounds and solemnity
* I wrote most of this post in the enchanting Purple Bamboo Park in Haidian… where people sing, dance, love and unwind throughout the day (and night) as a reminder that life is about balance, vitality… and most of all, that life is for living.