Sadly, I left Beijing a week ago. Almost 7 weeks in the city barely scratches the surface of what there is to see, do and experience. I am still piecing together my impressions and memories, and still have much to write about.
In between China and Back-To-Reality, I took a detour to London. It is a beautiful, fantastic city where it is easy to have fun, even though I went through a bit of culture shock (I had to keep reminding myself that people speak English) and - extreme wallet shock.
We dined at Tom's Kitchen, Eight Over Eight and had our hangover lunch at the Chelsea Potter pub, a place I haven't been to since I was 16 years old and Kings Road was populated by punks. We had lunch at a fabulous little place called Napket, perfect for laptop working or blogging (next time, note to self). It's a chic, sexy deli, really; modern glamour a la Philippe Starck. The long dining table has iPod docking stations and the food offerings are fresh and healthy gourmet salads and sandwiches.
Laura was my guide in London and her Blackberry provided us with maps and directions. We quickly learned that we have absolutely no idea how much time 2.4 miles actually takes to walk or what 300 meters really means when you're wearing heels. Laura's Walking Tour of London often took us completely out of our way, but if we hadn't taken the detours we never would have stumbled on The Oak, a great neighborhood restaurant. We wouldn't have walked past palm trees in Notting Hill or ended up in a local bar with a group of new friends drinking margaritas. And when you find margarita salt in your bra the next morning, you know it's been a good night.
photo of palm tree in Notting Hill taken by LB.