Beijing by the numbers: Random observations from my first week in China

Everything at Tiananmen seems to be undergoing restoration -- except for Chairman Mao

Everything at Tiananmen seems to be undergoing restoration — except for Chairman Mao

I’m not one of those often-wrong, never-in-doubt Americans who visits a city for a week and decides he knows everything about its history, culture and politics.

That having been said, I do have a few first impressions through the eyes of a China newbie. Here are some random observations of life in Beijing by the numbers:

7

Number of Beijingers wearing anti-pollution face masks

5

Number of Beijingers wearing bike helmets

0

Number of Beijingers who have used hand signals while riding bikes

2

rick caroline jane

Cornering the market on blondes in Beijing: with Caroline Ward (left) and Jane Sasseen (right)

Number of Beijingers holding a cell phone while biking in traffic

8

Number of blonde people sighted in Beijing

5

Number of blonde people sighted in Beijing who are not friends or students of mine

5

Number of European-origin people seen on the subway

0

Number of people speaking English on the subway

9

Number of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants seen around town

0

Number of people who have asked me about the Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Texans, Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi or Capitol Hill gridlock

1

Number of students who have asked me about the American government’s lies leading up to the invasion of Iraq

8

Number of universities in this section of northwest Beijing

3

Number of Texas on the Potomac alumni now living and working in Beijing

3

Number of people I’ve met who have worked or studied in Pennsylvania

1

Number of Texas Aggies I’ve run across. (Gig ’em, Caroline!)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s