There are truly only two reasons why we chose to spend Christmas in Beijing: number one, our friend Amy. She lives there and she had time off. It was more appealing to spend Christmas with a dear friend and by ourselves, much as we like each other’s company. Number two, we wanted to revisit some of Beijing’s sites during a less crowded time.
Number one got accomplished. Number two, nope.
Again, the culprit was Beijing’s terrible horrible pollution.
I’ll spare you the pictures, no need for that. The day we left we did wake up to a lovely blanket of snow that gave the city a sense of calmness, and gave us the belated white Christmas we were hoping for. Plus, it made the air quality better.
Luckily we didn’t have any problems getting into Beijing. There is a high speed train, so we took it. Traveling through China on high speed train is very convenient, cheaper, and rather comfortable (just bring snacks, unless you’re cool with drinking lukewarm overpriced Starbucks Frappuccinos in a bottle and vacuum-sealed chicken feet). Amy greeted us at the train station and off we went.
We got in on Christmas Eve. We went for dinner at Din Tai Fung (because dumplings), and later met with some of Amy’s friends in her building, played cards (against humanity!) and had some wine. It was fun and we met some nice people. I continued to be half-dead from my sinus infection. Amy very graciously kept her air purifier on, volunteered her humidifier, and shared her cold relief teas. I felt much better by the time we left Beijing. I didn’t feel any better about the fact that I’m sure neither Cameron nor her got a lot of sleep due to my nonstop coughing. It’s a small apartment.
Christmas Day, and all other days for that matter, were spent in delicious laziness, jokes, pastries and classic Christmas movies. The day after that was spent in similar fashion. It would have been fun to see some sights and go out and everything, but that’s really not the reason we went to Beijing. We went to spend time with our friend. And it was simply great.
Thank you, Amy, for making Christmas magical in the midst of doom 🙂