I’m heading home in a few weeks. I don’t know much but I know a lost cause when I see one and this experience, professionally speaking has been exactly that. Over time I’ll look back and evaluate the experience, my role in it. No one is completely blameless and no one deserves all the blame either. It’s just been one of those experiences we get from time to time. That’s the thing with stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s not comfortable.
One suburb of Beijing will get a seat in the “good memories” room. Not the Hall of Fame, but definitely on the plus side. It is called Sanlitun. It’s a mixture of Chinese and western. Lots of tall buildings, shops, clubs and pubs. It’s a moment back in the comfort zone. It’s a bit bright lights big city. I’d go there to feel normal for a few hours.
It’s also incredibly busy. If there are 1.3 billion people in China, 1.1 billion of them are in Sanlitun at night. The Main Street can be so busy it takes two efforts to get across the pedestrian crossing. The lights can change and traffic start to flow again before you even get to the curb. So getting photos was a bit of a challenge.
I get stared at A LOT over here. I’m 6ft bald and about 110kg so I stand out. Get out the camera and the tripod and I can occasionally draw a crowd. It’s not something I particularly like so getting some photos in Sanlitun wasn’t easy. The bottom of most photos were just a mass of people and lights. Good photos on their own but not what I was searching for that night. A bit of creativity was required to get a feel for the lights and action around is area.
I’ll head back to Sanlitun before I leave for a coffee and check out the shops. I’ll appreciate the light show on the buildings above me and be grateful for a little dose of sanity in the toughest four months of my life. I won’t take the camera though. I’ll just enjoy it for what it is.