This is the start of our fourteen-day adventure. Thank you for taking time to read.
We left Manila 7:30 in the evening and arrived 12 midnight in Beijing. Immediately upon arrival, we tried to look for a sim card seller inside the airport. There was a shady character who approached us, getting “unused” sim cards from his wallet, selling them for cny100 (php700). We then abandoned the sim card quest for the moment, thinking that it would be easy to get it somewhere else.
A Rude Encounter
Knowing that we would arrive past midnight, we knew that the only economical way to the city proper at that time is by bus. We checked the bus route, and booked a convenient hotel along the route to avoid hailing a cab in an unknown city so late at night. The driver only let a limited number of people in the bus, according to its seating capacity. However, there was this lady who refused to let Fil or Dalvin sit beside her, because her luggage was placed there. Fil and Dalvin were gentlemen and simply stood beside her, looking at her pointedly. Some kind men at the back of the bus called one of them to sit with them, because there was space for one more, and Dalvin did. There was no other seat except for where the lady’s suitcase was, and she was using her phone constantly, pretending not to see a thing.
With my limited Chinese, I asked her to please let Fil sit. She said, her bags were heavy blah, blah. Bottom line, she refused to move. Her friends in another seats talked to her, she ignored them. The entire bus was silent. I told her to put her luggage on the floor, and let Fil sit. She ignored me again, but after a while, she muttered some Chinese blah, and reluctantly moved her luggage to the aisle. She sat beside it, so Fil had to squeeze by her to sit on the window seat. What a drama on our first night!
The ride was around 40-60 minutes. We got off Beijing Railway Station and asked around until we found Beijing City Line Hotel. After checking in (around 2am), we went out to look for food. Brrr! It was cold outside, definitely less than 10 degrees.
We ate at Mr. Lee (李先生), which was open 24 hours. At that time, we didn’t know that it was like the Jollibee of China – it was available everywhere!
The food was just so-so.
After eating, we head back to the hotel to rest. Personally, I had to unpack and prepare my extra bag for our overnight train ride the next day.
At the back of my mind was this thought: Was the experience we had with the bus lady just the first among many?
To read about our next day, click here.
To read about our entire travel itinerary, click here.