China Life – the western end of line 1

We lived 5 stops from the western end of line 1, and way off in the distance we could see a pagoda on the hill. Before we moved, I wanted to ride to the end of the line and see how close it got. We thought about making a trip to the actual pagoda, but it was one more difficult place to get to without a car/driver and another place that would require great air so we could really see the view toward downtown. So we settled for getting a little bit closer.

We rode to the end of the line so we could say we rode the whole line. It takes a turn, so we rode back a few stops so we could see the straight shot through the middle of Beijing, east to west.

 Looking west.


 Looking east.. you can just barely see the tallest building downtown.



And then some typical Beijing sights…


 to cool off.


 Ice cream. I’d actually never scene this before.

I think this is the only stop sign I ever saw in Beijing.



There’s a fake Disneyland out that way, we walked part of the way home so we could walk past it.





Typical fire extinguishing set up. Axes and buckets.


Cantaloupe on a stick.



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:


A fun infographic of Beijing street foods:


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

 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.

China Photos

 Leaving Walmart the other day, these guys walked past.

 B and I have discussed getting a bike, and we’d need a seat for a passenger in back, but one that would accommodate Squirt (sides so he wouldn’t just tumble out) but also me if B was riding me around (and I can’t really squeeze into most of the seats with sides). Then I saw this. This woman has a back seat, and a baby seat strapped to her handlebars (?) somehow.

While we were waiting for friends by our subway stop, this woman stopped in order to pull the net cover over her dog stroller and then doubly secure that with a blanket/scarf (on a beautiful weather and air day).

Around Town

The top two are photo shops near us. I took them to remember which shops took passport pictures but thought it might be fun to share them here too. The far right is Yongheking, B’s new favorite China fast food restaurant. Although it would be nice if more of their menu was pictures… we just have point at the ad for what we want (which is a rice bowl with a spicy shredded chicken on top).

The far right picture is hard to see… it’s just a Chinese woman on the subway wearing an outfit that clashes so badly… but in China, patterns go with patterns and so she’s probably the height of fashionable. She has on a bicycle print shirt with flower print pants and it seems like her shoes were interesting too.

The bottom right picture is a teacher vs. student baseball game B played in.

Above that, a matchy couple. Couples (usually romantic, but sometimes friends or mother/daughter) wear matching t-shirts all the time.

 Top right: Weird bus/truck

Top left: this little trailer by us is always closed but one morning we saw it was open and serving breakfast.

Bottom left: Children’s Day holiday… we made the mistake of going to the Happy Baby Store to buy the boys remote control cars

Bottom right: Spotted a shaved ice restaurant at a mall in the Sanlitun neighborhood.

 Toys at Joy City Mall at the Qingnianlu stop on line 6.


Food finds… except the top right, western toilets for sale in our neighborhood alley market shops. It didn’t even strike me until later that they were western toilets which is extra odd.

Top left: a girl crouching on the floor in the crowded subway.

Top middle: “fashionable” guy

Top right: Strange scissor lift thing

Bottom left: The girl next to Squirt and the guy in front of her are wearing completely matching outfits (shirt and capri sweats)

Bottom middle: Crowded transfer from line 1 to line 10.

Bottom right: lining up on the subway platform