Friday, September 03, 2010

Beijing, part 3: Bird's Nest and Chunlin's Past

q25 - Bird's Nest

After lunch, we went to the Olympic stadium -- the Bird's Nest. Almost two years after the Olympics were held, it still looks shiny new. When are they going to tear it down?

q31 - Běijīng National Stadium

The biggest surprise for me, although I suppose it shouldn't have been, is that it was swarming with tour groups and other visitors. I'm not used to stadiums being visited without an event being held, but this was China and this was the Beijing National Stadium.

q29 - Bird's Nest in the Trees

Nearby, the puffy Water Cube (Beijing National Aquatics Center).
q35 - Běijīng National Aquatics Center

q33 - Mark at the Water Cube - Ch

The Promenade between the two was full of visitors and kite vendors.
q37 - Kites on the Promenade

Just behind the Water Cube was a small McDonald's with a limited menu: Big Mac, chicken sandwich, McNuggets, fries, drinks, ice cream, apple pie, nothing else. No little burger for sale for five yuan. We settled for coffee and ice cream.

Next door, a new building that I later learned is called Digital Beijing.
q40 - Digital Beijing Circuit Board Wall

Four o'clock. Jason drove around and picked us up. Next we visited Chunlin's past. First, we went to the China University of Mining and Technology, where she used to live and work, teaching English.
q42 - China University of Mining and Technology

Some of the buildings had new stucco and paint, but they were basically unchanged.

Beijing Normal University, Chunlin's alma mater, on the other hand, was radically different. Her dormitory and main classroom building still remained pretty much the same as she remembered, but much else was gone. The old main gate for the campus was gone. It's now a hotel parking lot entrance.

q44 - Chunlin at Beijing Normal University Dorms
This is the old entrance to the women's dorm, where Chunlin stayed as a student. It's now locked and the guarded entrance is around the other side of the building.

q46 - Beijing Normal University Dormitory
She lived up there, somewhere.

q52 - Chunlin at School of Foreign Languages and Literatures BNU
Here's the building where she took most of her classes. Not much has changed inside, not even the small lecture hall where they watched American movies that almost nobody else in China got to see. She were learning English, after all.

The remains of the big square are in front of the rebuilt library, with the new main gate on the library's axis, with a matching skyscraper behind the library.
q49 - Beijing Normal University Library

It's a big campus, or at least it seemed so.

q54 - Jason Waiting Patiently
When we got back to the car, Jason said (in his ever-improving English), "Lots of beautiful girls here."

I replied, "I got me a beautiful girl from this school!"

And so I did.
q47 - Chunlin at Beijing Normal University

I've posted more photos on flickr, naturally.

No comments: