Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beijing By Numbers

(Please bear in mind at all times the disclaimer from the beginning of this entry)

  1. 28 days in Beijing

  2. 7 hours from Liaoyang by bus

  3. 473 pictures taken. (Mostly indistinguishable pictures of Ming and Qing dynasty architecture and the obligatory tourist shots of Tienanmen and the Forbidden City)


  4. 100+ people per Beijing subway car at peak times (estimated by degree of crushing I received)
  5. 160 bottles of Tsingtao emptied into my gullet.

  6. 28 vodka tonics, scotch and dries, whiskey cokes or long island ice teas imbibed (see item 33).

  7. 12 Bullrushes (redbull, vodka, absinth. Not recommended for anyone ever.)

  8. 25 hangovers

  9. 3 seasons of Seinfeld viewed

  10. 40 episodes of Arrested Development (easily the best American sitcom ever made)

  11. 12 recent Hollywood Blockbusters viewed (obtained from friendly local pirates)

  12. about 6 of which were worth seeing. (I definitely recommend The Prestige and The Queen
    was okay too.)
  13. 4 books assimilated (Freaknomics, Identity and Violence, A Walk in the Woods, Coming Home Crazy all of which receive the Ben Shaw stamp of 'gee that's interesting' approval)

  14. 12+ seedy bars that I frequented

  15. 1 (or 2) classier drinking establishments that I had occasion to enjoy a drink at from time to time

  16. 30 RMB – most money paid for a 330 ml beer (see item 15)

  17. 3 RMB – least money paid for a 600 ml beer (see item 14)

  18. 3 Chinese phrases that I regularly used. They were: "san ping tsingtao" (3 bottles of tsingtao), "duo shao qian?" (how much is it?) and "yo wiener ma?" (do you have wiener?). I was somewhat dismayed to find on my return to Liaoyang that I have forgotten basically all my Chinese bar these three phrases.

  19. 50 times I heard the song 'Next Episode'

  20. at least a dozen wiener Baozi drunkenly purchased and gnawed upon.

  21. 12+ bowls of cheap but tasty niu rou mian (beef noodles) eaten at local noodlery

  22. 18 cans of Diet Doctor pepper consumed (tasty and addictive)

  23. 40 Jaozi personally infaciated on new years eve. (Yeah I made a word up. Its a verb meaning 'to stuff in your face'. I'm and English teacher, I can do that.)

  24. about a 1000 fireworks detonated in my immediate vicinity

  25. 6 AM – time that fireworks would begin in the morning

  26. 2 AM – time that fireworks might stop, if you were lucky

  27. 3 car alarms set off per firecracker (average)

  28. 90 minutes - average response time for owner of above cars to deactivate alarms

  29. 2 PM - average time I would drag myself from the couch where I slept

  30. 9 stamps I got on my Lush Cafe loyalty card (one away from a free meal! If only I'd remembered to whip it out when consuming hot dogs at 4.30am...)

  31. 42 Below

  32. 3 times I had to have the exact same introductory conversation with a drunken belligerent New Zealander who frequented Propaganda

  33. 50 RMB for all you can drink at Propaganda on a Wednesday night (see items 14, and 32)
  34. 70 times per minute that an experienced hawker at the technology markets can yell 'Sony!' right in your ear.

  35. 0 places in all of China that sell SD WiFi cards for Palm Pilots according to a self proclaimed Palm Pilot expert guy at the technology markets.

  36. 90 minutes that I managed to stay awake during the Stupor Bowl for which I got up at 5.30 am and caught a 40 min taxi ride across town. There was however a free breakfast buffet (see item 40). I also got my 15 minutes of fame on the unfortunately URL'd "That's Beijing" website.

  37. 20 KM - estimated distance I wandered through various Hutongs whilst 'exploring' (ie lost)

  38. 400 RMB spent upon discovering a foreign languages bookstore. I consider myself lucky to have gotten out that well.

  39. 3000+ people that decided to shop at Karrefour supermarket on the day before New Year. (including me and Mark).


  40. 5 kilos of estimated weight gain whilst in Beijing (see items 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21, 23, 29, 30, 33, 36)

and as a special bonus:
5 wrong numbers that called me whilst writing this post. As I don't know how to say 'sorry hombre you've got the wrong number' I just English at them until they get confused/frightened and hang up.

1 comment:

blarsen said...

As a fan of both numbers and debauchery im right into your mathematically based view of Beijing. Top form old chap.