Life in the New Neighborhood

here are some pics of the new neighborhood. i basically ride my bike around for a couple hrs everyday btwn going to chinese class and working on my freelance stuff.

theres nothing like riding a bike through the city. its dangerous but seems less dangerous than NYC. this is because there are bike lanes on all the big streets and because there is an ingrained bike culture here and people don't want to kill you if you're riding a bike. here you never get yelled at or physically assaulted/confronted, unlike NY where everyone wants you to die and get hit by a bus because bikers are a-holes. my aunt gave me this bike. it has only one gear, can coast for about 5 feet (i have to take a look at that) and is a little better than walking. at least its better than the beach cruiser i had in NY. it's good that its fall now because if i was riding this in the summer i would be a disgusting aquaman. parking my bike is always an experience. guys yelling at me saying i can't park my bike there but they are too lazy to do anything about it when i tell them to f off. also guys trying to rip me off all the time. it actually costs money most places to park your bike like 2 cents or something but still its the principal of the matter.

korean restaurant. these girls are supposed to be wearing han boks. i haven't found a korean restaurant yet that has real korean food at a reasonable price. i need to find one soon!

south gate of ritan park where i have been spending a lot of time.

boring shots of the neighborhood streets. it's boring here because its surrounded by embassies and rich people buildings and there is nothing cool to look at but i have to add these because they are like the establishing shots in movies, you gotta have them.

this is some fancy place across from the stone boat cafe in ritan park

i've been spending a lot of time here at the stone boat cafe which is on the water in some little lake in ritan park. it's open late and has free wireless so why not wind down the day on the lappy drinking a tsingtao on the water in a beaut of a park?

taiwanese buddy ryan. he has no chinese licence only an expired canadian licence. he's been here for almost a year i think. he's not worried about it. he has shown me a bunch of times by example that it would be a very rare instance for him to be pulled over. examples such as speeding past cop cars, driving in the olympic lane, general bad driving. and its true! it looks like you can do whatever you want in beijing in a car as well as on foot or bike or anywhere else.

huge super long lcd screen on the ceiling of the outdoor area at "The Place" shopping mall. this ocean reef scene was fine. but they cycle through a bunch of cheesy other videos like inside a volcano and in space and have bad cheesy audio and sound effects. of course everyone is mesmerized non the less

this is the wife of the washington post driver. she comes to the apartment to clean up once a week. she lived for 5 yrs in japan for some reason that i have yet to decipher. she can speak japanese. this is the first day she came and she took me to buy sheets and eat at this place below.

a big area with lots of different food establishments. i ate at this chuar place where you pick out your kabobs of stuff you want and the throw it in a boiling pot and give it back to you when its cooked

this is the entrance of the bike parking place in the basement level of soho new town. its steeper than it looks. you have to walk your bike down a couple of these things and then try to avoid paying the guy on the way in or out. i succeed at this sometimes. the first couple of times i got ripped off. at various bike parking places. its confusing because the little coins say they are called jiao but people say mao but some people say that one of those two are almost not being used anymore and i dont know how many mao equals on jiao or how many jiao equal 1 mao or how many jiao equals 1 rmb, etc.... now i think i know.