The plane landed on the dreary, foggy, rainy day. The sky is grey. It gets darker earlier here. I was worried about customs but they stamped my passport without question. I grabbed a cart for my backpack and went to figure out the metro. There’s a Beijing smart card for all public transportation but I don’t think that’s what they call it. I took a picture of the card from refilling station to use when asking for the card. It’s at another station. I hop on the Airport Express to the end of the line and pick up the card.
The subway is clean and the ride smooth so I don’t have to worry about holding on to something. Surprisingly I make it to the hostel without incident. The hostel is located within one of the many small mazes of alleyway like streets called hutong. The owner assures me that the streets are safe even at 3am.
I decide to get dinner before going to bed early. The owner recommends a restaurant near by and I’m off! In the wrong direction! (Clearly you’re noticing a pattern here.) Three people recognize me from the same hostel so we all went together to eat.
I don’t think any of us realized what we were getting into. I was thinking of a one pot meal. Nope. Each person has there own pot of boiling water. The table orders ingredients to share and you cook up your own meal. It reminds me of Japan, where we grilled our own food in Takayama. The pictures aren’t great but you get the idea.