Working and Living in Beijing…Soupy’s Chronicles (lol)

Work

I work at China Forestry Holdings (CHF).  Check them out at http://www.chinaforestryholding.com/en/

Everyone is sooooooo nice and welcoming and they are definitely keeping me busy with lots of research and PPT presentations.  CHF is located in the World Financial Center of what they call the Central Business District (CBD) which is in the Chaoyang District.  It’s a really nice building with a Starbucks where I’ve spent A LOT of $$$…ugh…and a food court with lots and lots of food to choose from.  Food prices are very reasonable and pretty large portions…for me at least.  You can get a meal anywhere from 10-30+RMB which is approximately $1.70-5.10+CAD (depending on your appetite).

Beijing has 16 districts for a total population of approximately 21,229, 000.  The population of the Chaoyang District is approximately 3,545, 000 with a density per sq/km of 7,530.  So that means A LOT of people!  To find out more about Beijing’s districts and their population, follow this link:  http://worldpopulationreview.com/beijing-population-2013/

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My Apartment

I live in an Apartment/Hotel complex called Freetown Center in the Jinsong Residential District, which is in the Chaoyang District.  There are four different buildings with a little courtyard in the middle, three gated entrances that are never locked with patrolled security.  There are several restaurants in the complex and the mini plaza/mall including a supermarket, Jingkelong and a 24 hour convenience store that we are all familiar with, 711.  How convenient!

The neighborhood is bustling with people day-in and day-out.  In the parking lot there is a man that practices with his whips, yes I said whips…plural, every night without fail and the echoes rip through the air loud and fierce like fire crackers.  That is what I thought I was hearing every night outside my apartment window…on the 25th floor…with the window closed.  Also, there is a group of elders that practice some dancing with fans shimmying and shuffling in unison accompanied by people playing a rhythmic tune with  traditional drums and symbols.  I can also hear this from my apartment as well…almost every night.  I thought there was some sort of celebration but as they continued after Golden Week (7 day holiday…lucky me!) in the beginning of October, China’s National Day celebration, I realized it was an ongoing session…even in the cold.  I forgot to mention, these activities happen at the same time…

For more info on China’s national holiday:

http://gohongkong.about.com/od/hongkongbymonth/a/Golden-Week-In-China-Explained.htm

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Streets

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The main streets are huge plus bike lanes.  Sometimes there are over passages and under passages to cross the street.

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You could rent a bite, park your bike or make use of what I call the “mini-mini”.  These are used as an alternative to taxis and can fit one person comfortably in the back, sometimes two if you’re small but I’m not sure how much it costs.  A regular taxi from the airport to the downtown area (in traffic) is about 100¥, approx. $17CAD (which is about a 30 min drive in good traffic) and the toll starts at 13¥, approx. $2CAD.

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Sorry not much info on these buildings except that they’re look very cool.  I plan to visit the Olympic sites and will add those photos to my cool buildings collection!  Look out for the ‘Water Cube’ and the ‘Bird’s Nest’!

Ma Yansong, a Beijing native apparently designed the curvy towers in Mississauga!  Follow the link for more info!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/realestate/commercial/a-curvaceous-tower-puts-mississauga-ontario-on-the-map.html?_r=0

ImageWait a minute is that Toronto’s CN Tower?!

(A zoomed-in view from my apt on the 25th floor)

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Vandalism or Art?!  You be the judge.  Hip hop is everywhere…

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Ok now this is art.  This crafty fellow is making items out of coloured wire.

Beijing is filled with so much to do and so much to explore.  I’ve been here two months now and haven’t even scratched the surface.  Also, being in a city/country that has so much history is just incredible.  More pics and experiences to come!

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