Tianyi Market

Tianyi 天意市场 Market (near Fuchengmen and Chegongzhuang) is sometimes called the Christmas Market because of the giant Santa statue out front. Really, it’s a wholesale market full of just about anything you can imagine. Princess Sparkley and I rode the bus (if I wasn’t so wimpy about riding our e-bike, this was almost close enough that I could have done that. B and I would have, had he gone with me.). We met a fun couple from church, AM and PG and shopped around the craziness. This was our second time there.




When the mall opened by our apartment, it slowly filled with shops. One of the last to move in was a hair cutting place. You take a number, wait your turn, pay Y10 (less than $2) and get your hair cut and the loose hair VACUUMED up! I told B that our boys needed to try this. He took them one day and sent me a text that said they looked like $2 haircuts, but it went okay. Ha!

China Life

 Walnut delivery bike (each basket is full of walnuts and in the center is a scale).





In China, not only is 13 bad luck, but so is 4 (so also 14).



Once spring and summer roll in, Chinese men wear these utility vests all the time. Usually they are older than this guy.


 The Xu family from church had us over for dinner and she made us homemade jiaozi! AND, she got stuck eating the mis-shapen ones I made.

 Chocolate ships at an import shop. That’s almost $7USD. I just use M&Ms or chop of candy bars when I make chocolate chip cookies.


This is not the same dog. Two dogs in red shoes.




Right down the street from us is a Chinese Uighur Muslim restaurant. The other day we bought some flat bread from them. I loved the way it looked.


A friend took his picture of a sign. We think it means “no spitting,” which would be a novel idea in China.

A desk in the lobby of B’s building. I want a school desk like this on wheels!


I see bikes like this and I can’t help but think that these were around during the Cultural Revolution.


Matchy matchy couple (and sharing carrying a bag).


 Paul Frank monkey detailed SUV.

A clear day. Further west than I normally take pictures (this section is called Shijingshan Road.) Above, toward the pagoda west of town. Below, toward Beijing, you can see the tallest building.



Buddy’s hot dog lunch from Tous le Jours


 Outside Carrefour… a French grocery store chain, the emergency fire cart. :/


Can you see the long hair growing out of his facial mole?! I’m not sure what it is, but people here seem to keep hair that I would pluck in a second.



Waiting for the train to come home from church, PS took this picture. I guess it’s a little A/C booth.

China Life


 Mid day, I find groups of men like this gathered around watching a Chinese chess game.

 Lionel Messi chip aisle!


You can’t tell by my picture, but the woman in purple is wearing tights as pants. They have a polka dot design up to the upper thigh where it stops and by the seams, you can definitely tell these are tights, not pants.


This guy was smoking on our subway train late one night. He moved from car to car so at each stop, when the subway employee came looking for him, he was sneaking past them into the next car and they couldn’t spot him. He seemed obviously inebriated with something (not sure if drug use happens here in China) or mentally unwell.


No one old enough to be in a romantic relationship should also have a giant bunny backpack.

 Grocery shopping: At our local grocery store, in order to buy something from the office supply section (ie: a 28 cent roll of tape) you have to get this ticket and wait in line at a register across the store from the office supply section. Mostly, this encourages me not to buy office supplies at our grocery store. On this particular day, I had to wait in line behind four people in order to buy tape. Tape!! It was a bad China day for me.

 Trash trucks.

 I was trying to capture the little girl in red sitting side saddle on the back of her dad’s bike, but they were too speedy for me.

 Electric scooter with a little seat.

 Toddler in army coat carrying a gun.

 When Princess Sparkley and I travel to youth activities on Tuesday nights, this guy is out in front of our store with his turtle on a lease. He rotates between two different turtles. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, but one time he had a plastic tub full of small turtles, so maybe he’s selling turtles?

 For a youth activity, they did a photo scavenger hunt at Solana mall. They had to get a picture of a weird translation sign.

 A few weeks ago they tore up the sidewalk in front of our grocery store and re-tiled it. Then a week later this tractor came in and tore it all up to retile it again.


Paining characters on the sidewalk with water.

 My favorite candy bar (milk chocolate with sea salt and caramel) is only at one of our stores now. And for some reason, it’s Y12 (about $2) while all the other flavors are Y9.60 ($1.50). Not a huge amount of money, but I’m already justifying 1) buying candy and 2) buying a more expensive chocolate when I could have a Snickers for Y4 or a Dove milk chocolate for Y7.


Mmmm… this is one of my favorite street foods. Breakfast at our subway stop. It took awhile, but I figured out it is called Jidan guanbing 鸡蛋灌饼. A bread, fried with an egg cracked in it. Then a hot dog-like sausuage and potatoes with carrot and peppers. Oh, and some sort of sauce painted on… probably fermented soy bean paste or something similar.

More street food info: http://beijinghaochi.com/suzhou-egg-crepe-jidan-guanbing

and  http://www.meatlovessalt.com/2014/05/beijing-breakfasts/

A fun infographic of Beijing street foods: http://www.timeoutbeijing.com/features/Food__Drink-Food_Features/149867/Beijings-best-street-food.html


Yes, this is an adult woman with a cell phone case that looks like a baby bottle.

 After going to the Ancient Observatory (which is just above this station), I finally understood the tile art of the Jianguomen station.

 This is not a car accident. This was deemed a successful parking job by the driver of the black car.


I like that the Max. 3 Persons sign looks like they are dancing.

 My new favorite orange (tangelos, I think) because they peel easily and are 99% seedless.

The white fluff in the stroller… this is a dog.

Notice the little girl riding in front of her mom’s legs. (Three gals, on a scooter.)

China Life

 PS wants to buy all these fish and set them free… the problem is where to set them free?!

 Now that it has warmed up a bunch, these bird cages are hung out in trees and we see them when we go out to run errands.

 Saw this tiny excavator leaving the Beijing Automobile Museum.

 Getting all the vegetables cut and ready for breakfast/lunch/dinner at the restaurant.


I see men carrying their significant other’s purse quite often.


 This may look like a rescue mission. In actuality, it’s a guy, trimming tree branches, with a chain saw.

We transfer from line 1 to line 2 every week at Jianguomen station to get to church. It wasn’t until after visiting the Ancient Observatory and the Planetarium that I understood the murals above the train tracks. This is the station beneath the Ancient Observatory. Further down the track, it actually depicts the observatory. This specific mural is the Chinese interpretation of the big dipper, which I saw at the Planetarium.

 All of a sudden this is in our stores… no idea what it is. Ideas?

 Crowded transfer from 1 to 14 at Dawanglu subway station.

 Below: Shopping at Miniso… it’s a Japanese or Korean dollar store type shop. We love it, but some of the stuff is a bit crazy!

And in the Tour Le Jours Bakery next door… (ie: croutons).

I’d mentioned to my friend Becky that I wanted to try to find a Mooncake mold to bring back to the States as my souvenir. She found me one in Tianjin when there family visited!! The characters are for Double Happiness.

 PS thinks this Tinkerbell candy gun is hilarious.

 Granddaughter riding on Grandpa’s shopping trolley.

 Pet fish? Dinner?

 I want to take the boys here. For Y10 they cut your hair and vacuum you clean. At first, I thought it was a vacuum cut place.

Popsicles. Based on the picture, it looks like a stack of haw fruit frozen in water.

 A few days after Easter, our grocery store had this display table out front with markers and eggs.

 On the way to church, right before boarding the line 13 train, there are an especially large amount of red banners.

 Our church district had a dinner followed by viewing the General Women’s meeting. Afterwards, walking to the subway, one of the street food vendors was selling “grilled” jiaozi! Yum! This was fuller, we’d eaten some before I took the picture. And it only cost Y10… less than $2 USD.

B took me to the Alley Market down the street to get Jian Bing. He’d tried it on his way home from transferring money at the bank and said it was yummier than the Jian Bing we had in Tianjin. It was good. Bu La means not spicy/hot. That’s helpful for me to remember. It sort of tasted like a Taco Bell burrito that was heavy on the lettuce… and crunchy. The guy makes a crepe like shell… but it’s crunchy. Then he cooks an egg on it. Then his wife paints spicy stuff on it, adds green leaf lettuce and a fried dough stick, folds it up and chops it in half. Super filling. Y6, about $1 USD.

Here’s someone else’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOcmUl8c7Sc

China Life

Spring Festival clean-up. Note the fake blossoms… since they celebrate SPRING’s arrival in February, they have to fake it.
Now that it’s “spring,” there are birds out hanging in their travel cages getting fresh air. I’ve heard people take birds on walks too, but we haven’t been lucky enough to see that yet.
 3/2     Trying to capture the sunset in bad air.
 The Old Navy by us is open!!! (Wukesong mall)
 Buddy is obsessed with buying this fedora.
 Riding the bus to and from Old Navy.
 Trash can on bus says, “Do not stampede.”
Tree in the lobby of our church building.

3/6 Riding the subway home from church.

China Life

 A Burger King opened on our street, maybe a mile west of our apartments.


Over Spring Festival, the kids cat sat for one of B’s co-workers who had three stray cats he’d adopted and who hid under his bed the entire time we were watching them. This was the view from his apartment of the Sculpture Park across the street.

I didn’t understand the displays or red bras, underwear and socks that are so prevalent around Chinese New Year until someone explained to me that if it is your year (ie: you were born the Year of the Monkey and now it’s the Year of the Monkey again) it is bad luck unless you wear something red every day.

Riding a bike in Beijing is tricky. Try doing it one handed while holding an umbrella and balancing a person on back.

I’m a member of an LDS Homeschool group on Facebook. Someone asked for fridge organization ideas. I jokingly showed them our tiny fridge here in Beijing.


Squidgems riding the bust with me to the grocery store. He was very excited.

 We went to BHG since I knew he’d like these little carts.


 Hmmm… homemade yogurt.
Snow White, advertising cookware in our new Wumart.


Isn’t this baby adorable next to Buddy. She’s all bundled up in traditional garb.


People share carrying shopping bags all the time.