My family and I seem to be acclimatising to China land – the heat is not that hot, the distances are not that far and the menus not that foreign or surprising (i sampled tendon on a kebab stick last night, an oddly tasty and chewy experience…)
Beijing as a ‘walking city’ is quite a novelty. Beijingers walk, full stop. They walk to work if they can, to the shops often. They walk to meals and from meals. If they eat at home, then they often go for a walk afterwards (9pm…10pm… whatever) because it is healthy to settle your meal this way, the air outside cools down at night and it is pleasant to mingle with friends and be among the population, I guess. And to take your dog out to pee and poop!
My mom and I have becomer late night walkers too. Our little flatlet in which we crash each night is a 2km walk from my brother’s apartment – through one shopping centre (to cool down), across one of the biggest roads I have ever had to negotiate, with its constant stream of traffic, and past plenty locals sitting outside on the city streets, around small tables, cooling down for the eve.
Mom and i enter at least one dark alleyway on the way to apartment, feeling completely safe. Looked at (as foreigners), yes, but in no danger of mugging, assault or rape. How refreshing.
Something about the humidity/berg wind atmosphere makes this late night trekking a bit of a dizzying experience, though. But still, the walking is novel.