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  • Writer's pictureElena Stoeva

Beijing China, Day 11 - Plein Air #3 and Jumping off the bus

Today Rebecca said, I can’t believe you have only 20 days left! I said, I can’t believe I still have 20 more days left!

I woke up at 7 again, had coffee and breakfast, then I went back to bed. It finally build up - the late nights and early mornings. I couldn't fall asleep but was so happy just laying in bed.

By 1 I was packed and ready to go to the park. Today I picked Western Hills National Forest Park. This time however I took my carry on instead of a backpack.

Here I am at the bottom of a huge mountain with my carryon on wheels.

The carry on was a lot easier to carry than the back pack, but I didn’t see much of the mountain as I had to stick to the asphalt.

The first thing that impressed me was the huge waterfall right when I walked in. It turns out it has hours of operation! They shut the water off at 5:30. Everything else was natural, so I won’t complain. Beautiful flower gardens and lots of walking up hill. I walked for an hour and a half, exploring and taking note of several places I can set up to paint later. When I was at a point of shaky legs I headed down the mountain and started painting a beautiful lake with the mountains behind.

It picked the wrong spot. I lot of tourists came by and even sat down waiting for me to start painting. Everyone took pictures of me, I was the main attraction. Then the whole Chinese army came by to visit. They were doing some sort of exercise in the park, and one of them stood behind me and blew his whistle. Then all the rest of the army came over to see me.

I found myself again in the sun. ☀️ I always sit in the wrong spot. At least it was 4 in the afternoon and it wasn’t that hot anymore. Nevertheless, I got sunburn on my arms and face. I skipped the sunscreen this morning.

The bus ride was quick. I ran out of money on my metro card and had to pay cash 5 (79 cents) instead of 2 (32 cents) and they didn’t give me change. I later found I did have 2 RMB in my wallet!

When the bus doors opened at my stop I tried to get out. There was a crowd of about 20 people trying to get in from that same door. They didn’t wait for me and started pushing me in. I was holding the painting high up with one hand and my suitcase with the other and I couldn’t push back. I had to figure out a way to get off that bus. I said something in English but realized no one understands. Then I though there is no other way out than to jump. I jumped off the bus into the crowd, holding my wet painting up and my suitcase behind. I heard people shouting. They caught me. I was freed.

I took a quick shower and headed out with Rebecca to dinner. We sat down at the place from last night - Meizhu.

Rebecca ordered for us: duck, Chinese cauliflower and Chinese greens. I was happy. I was also happy that she suggested we went to the convenience store and get drinks to bring in with dinner. I got rum and lime and she got beer. Luckily we didn’t see the New Jersey people from last night!

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