Destinations Magazine

I'm Back, Back, Back Again... Beijing, China!

By Josephharrison1990 @JTAH_1990

Beijing already had me feeling triggered because the previous evening I found myself eating the same instant noodles in a hotel room like I had done on the verge of the COVID-19 Pandemic! Torrential rain or not, I took three metro lines from Line 1's '四惠/Si Hui' changing onto Line 14 at '大望路/Da Wang Lu' until Line 15 saw me arriving at '后沙峪/Hou Sha Yu'. Yes, a whole trek! 

I'm Back, Back, Back Again... Beijing, China!

Returning was an easy decision for me to make but facing those familiar post-Pandemic places had me in my feelings, dysphoria much? Yes! My Han Ting Hotel had me way out of my former Shunyi former location because I wanted to be within at least the third ring road, Destination I remembered you! Returning on a Sunday was key, I was forced to reshape those former memories without the lure of my previous pre-Pandemic weekends facing me. Yes, I sat there with the same brand of instant noodles that I had enjoyed in my first post-apartment hotel. Triggered was not the word! My best one Chanel had arrived the previous night from her double country summer holiday, with the weather not playing ball I suggested that we meet because the next two days looked tolerable regarding the weather forecast. Taking those three 'Beijing Subway' trains had me in my feelings because they were filled with people, it was the best to see people filling up those trains! Low key, I wanted to see what my former hood looked like, really! 

Typhoon Doksuri had no chill, regardless of the weather it wasn't no stress to change those three Beijing Subway lines. Truly it was a privilege to change that final train to a Line 15 train, even that platform change had me looking at my Chinese maps for an alternative route, that wasn't needed. Hou Sha Yu looked the same but it didn't, the baron that I used to walk across to access the station had been reclaimed by nature and with the monsoon-like rain, things looked jungle-like. Those taxis needed to fall back because I wanted to put one foot in front of another even though that typhoon rain pelted down and then some! My 2019 laziness had caught me in the jugular because I had to check myself, I was walking in those Shunyi streets rather than watching them go past in a DiDi ride. Hou Sha Yu had no time for me, I knew this kind of love would keep me on my toes, I needed to make peace with this outer Beijing suburb. After such a chaotic parting, I wasn't expecting a smooth return but honestly, the rain was mad! Stop it, Bei! 

I'm Back, Back, Back Again... Beijing, China!

Those streets looked foreign to me as I walked towards Sam's Club but in truth they looked as they should've, a serious amount of construction had been kicking of before Corona decided to do the same. I already had plans to move to Zhejiang Province but I never imagined that it would take me three and a half years to make a trip up to Beijing's Shunyi District, rude! Clocking Sam's Club told me that my first 2020 hotel would be in view, I wanted to see if that form of accommodation was still operating like it was almost trying to do back before China's epic Lockdown took place. That 'Ripple Hotel' looked as if it was doing just fine because best believe some businesses have fallen to the fate of closure due to the Pandemic. I felt thankful that I wasn't staying in that hotel anymore, that time in my life was hectic to say the very least. The rain didn't impress me but it was sort of cleansing to see the rain engulf those places, almost like it was a helping me? Yes! Even though the weather had me almost crying, I kept it moving! Go! 

Walking away from that first COVID-19 related Beijing hotel, I was able to walk past the 'Day Inn' hotel that stood almost side by side to the 'Ripple Hotel'. I ended up not staying in that hotel and time revealed why that reservation needed to be cancelled one way or another. I walked around that Hou Sha Yu  street in utter disbelief, it was meant for me to fly back to the United Kingdom with a three year wait cemented without me even knowing my fate. That was some kind of twisted Saturday love? Not! Ironically, when I think about those hotel days I don't feel mad because I was able to protect my peace even though the world worked in such a wicked way. I actually feel most comfortable with staying at home on a regular in Ningbo because I can claim my current apartment as a stable place to live in, unlike those ever-changing hotel situations. Perspectives have changed but at least I found a McDonald's to stay dry inside for at least one hour, although my previous favorite 'Friday Night' restaurant had closed down! That's not fair!

I'm Back, Back, Back Again... Beijing, China!

东亚创展国际/Dong Ya Chuang Zhan Guo Ji' had been where my final year and a half was spent as a home, I made that outer Beijing development my safe space. It was not the best feeling to leave but I knew that it was the right thing to do, I had made the right choice because I felt like it was time to move on. Funnily enough, when I saw these six standalone buildings as one collective, well it hit different because those memories came flooding back. Of course, Building 2 will always be my former home. I kept my distance, staying outside the open gates. It didn't feel right for me to walk into another persons home community, looking from the outside in felt correct. Yes, I saw that white security hut, a former COVID-19 testing station? That I didn't know but I certainly read between the lines, 'Dong Ya' don't you even try to lie to me! In that moment I felt blessed, I had been given the chance to make my peace. That housing community served a purpose but I feel content with my new abode in Ningbo, Zhejiang. Bei, I still made it! 

Making communication with Chanel was a blessing, I decided to make a move towards a former foreigner hangout. I had bossed all the areas in that immediate surrounding, I personally didn't want to loiter without any intent. Pulling myself together was a task, I told myself that this visit to that corner of Shunyi District would be my last. I had no connection with the housing community that I used to call home, if truth be told that brief reunion was more than enough. Those hotels weren't a mood for me anymore, they triggered me and I knew that I would be bumping into another reminder of that time in due course. I felt very thankful that I was able to self-navigate myself around that area once again. Now, with those epic Hou Sha Yu hangovers that I suffered from, how that McDonald's would've helped me out! That area allowed me to learn through its disguise, the only way I could go from there was to move forward and not look back! Yes, I wanted to embrace every single moment! Walking is what I did! Echa Pa' Lante, BJ!

Hou Sha Yu Haunted & Humbled Me! 

Desperately Seeking Adventure

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