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  • Writer's pictureElena Stoeva

Beijing China, Day 4 - Art Zone 798

Updated: Apr 26, 2018

Took a 40 min taxi ride to the art district in the morning. Did not expect to see what I saw! This requires I whole day trip. Tons of absolutely amazing beautiful spacious galleries, various other interesting crafts, small stores, cafes and pubs everywhere. I am definitely going back. I wish I listened to Vanessa, who said to go early morning. I was there at 11:30.

Again, completely lost the entire day. Towards the end I finally figured the map of the art district. And I walked with confidence the last hour. What’s wrong with me!? I need to do a better research! Excuse: The map is not very convenient as I had to take a picture of a sign and look at the small screen of my phone. Next place I go, I promise myself I will sit down once I get there and study carefully the map over a cup of coffee before I frantically head out and roam around. At least they have coffee shops everywhere, in each and every gallery I saw!

Finally, I found an art store and got more supplies. I paid and left them at the store, told them I’d be back after walking around but forgot to ask what time they close. Dashed to see a few more galleries, devoured my late lunch, a beef noodle soup, and was back at the store by 5pm. Of course, it wasn’t closing until 7.

It could be 90F in Beijing, but people will still wear sweaters and coats because the calendar says it’s not summer yet. This is what I got out of a conversation with a friendly gallerist who was very curious to learn about me. She asked me why am I dressed like this if it’s not summer yet. I looked at my tank top and knee high pants and was relieved I didn’t leave the house wearing flip flops. I asked my Australian roommate if she would wear flip flops to town and she said it was a fashion crime. Well, guilty on day 1 only though.

And the last mistake of today. After I got all my art supplies including 2 large and heavy canvases I headed home. I decided to take the bus rather than taxi. 46 bus stop all together. 2.5 hours. Even my roommate who always takes the bus said she wouldn’t have done it. It was smelly and hot and my neck was twisted looking to the right out of the window. I just hope I don’t get sick. Had 2.5 hours to observe the driver and 2 conductors. Driver drove like a madman, I will never see anything like this again. Traffic in China has no rules. Just when you think someone will hit us or we will hit someone, miraculously it doesn’t happen. I saw thousands of mopeds, bikes 2 wheelers and all kind of derivatives. Amazing how many people are on the street doing their own thing and I haven’t seen a single traffic accident for 3 days straight!

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