It’s weekend: we told the kids that this morning would be fully free for them and they were looking forward to it (sleeping late, staying in pj with their phone in their bed!). But they didn’t sleep as much as we have thought / hoped. At 7:30am they are already on their phones.
Isabelle prepares pancakes, helped by the kids.
I write some posts (I don’t like having more than one-week delay in the posts) while Isabelle analyzed the revised offer for the Galapagos that we received from Philippe. Kids enjoyed their free morning on their phones.
Regarding the blog: before Beijing I could do it at night and be more or less up to date but here we do more activities and we come back later at night (we don’t eat much at the apartment mainly because we don’t have a nice small supermarket near our place and because we don’t have good kitchen utensils such as pans).
We had planned to go to 798 District. But I’m hesitating. My ‘to do’ list (one-week delay in posts, book hotels (and a museum) in Japan, book hotel in Queenstown (NZ), personal investments to finalize, finalize booking of Sumo tickets in Japan…) stresses me. It’s frustrating to spend a day behind your computer while you are in Beijing and there are still so many things to see (including the Summer Palace that we haven’t had time to visit). But it’s difficult for me to enjoy when I don’t see when I’ll be able to clear this list of outstanding things to do: tomorrow we go and visit the Great Wall for 2 days, then one more day only in Beijing and then we are gone for a 10-day trip in China before staying in Shanghai for 2 weeks. I also remember one sentence from Denis (my ‘unplugging’ guru): it’s better to leave a city with a taste of ‘too little’ (a bit like a good diner); it’s good to be keen to come back (even if the probability is small).
But, as usual, we nevertheless decide to go to 798 District.
We bring the kids to the Mc Donald’s nearby, order and pay for them and then we leave them there. They now know how to get back to the apartment (and Ludivine also installed maps.me on her phone). We go to 798, an art district with art galleries including UCCA (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art). It’s not easy to arrive there by public transport but we make it (3 metros and 1 bus). We arrive a bit late, after 4pm (galleries close at 6pm). We wander a bit in this place, discovering nice galleries and shops. People are a bit trendier that what we’ve seen so far. And, as everywhere, they love to take pictures (especially selfies and posed pictures). It’s amazing how much Chinese people love taking pictures! We try for the first time the Virtual Reality artworks. In the art world, this Virtual Reality medium is entering a ground-breaking period, enabling artists to cross boundaries. In order to understand these VR artworks, we experience them first-hand. Interesting experience. This medium literally opens up an entirely new world for both artists and viewers.
We come back around 7:30pm. We have left for nearly 5 hours but we stayed less than 2 hours at the 798 District! A bit frustrating…
I prepare pasta at home and raw vegetables (carrots, avocados and tomatoes); we try to empty what we bought at the supermarket at the beginning of our stay.
I eventually finish reading Michel Strogoff. Kids are happy about the happy end.
I work late (2:30am) on the posts but I can’t post anything since our blog is also blocked in China (WordPress) and our vpn is not working.
Tomorrow, we go to the Great Wall! We are very excited!