The adventures of Bill in Beijing…
Where the hell am I?
Ok, find China on a map. Good job. Look in the northeast corner and you’ll find Beijing. Beijing is massive. At a minimum, there are 20 million people here. Some say it’s more like 40 million any given day counting all the people who commute in for work. Judging by rush hour on the tube, they’re right.
The city isn’t broken up by any rivers like New York, it sits in the middle of a big plain basically, so it just keeps going. The city has several sections, and my section is Fengtai (fung-tay). It’s the southwest section of town just off the city center. (The city center is the forbidden city and Tiananmen Square.) There are, at least, 2 million people in Fengtai. It would be something like south Philly, if south Philly had more than all the people in Philly living in it.
Fengtai has more than a dozen sub-districts, which are sort of like neighborhoods. Mine is called Majiabao (ma-ja-boo). Give or take a few, there are a shitload of us in Majiabao.
My block, or ‘village’ as they’re often called, is two blocks from the Jiaomen east subway station. I’m basically due south of the city center, which is about 15 minutes away on the tube. I’m line 10, which is the ‘outer loop’ (line 2 is the inner loop) that wraps around the city center. Like most blocks, the commerce, the storefronts, are on the outer edge of the block, with the ‘inside’ being where the hotels and apartment buildings are. My block, or village, is broken up into several smaller sections. I’m in the 7 carrot section. Whoever was the developer of 7 carrot gave it a motto, of sorts, you can see on some of the buildings and goes something like “7 carrot help make you plan best of your future”. Yeah, the translations are often quite bad.
The yellow section in the southwest, that’s me. Kinda due south of the center, sorta by that one park looking thing, near that orange thing that’s a road. Ah, yeah. Know what, it’s probably best you just call first before you swing by.