A New First

During the last two weeks of the Spring Festival, my sister came to visit me in Beijing. She left last week Saturday. I took her to a couple of places I hadn’t gone before like the 798 Art Zone and Qian Hai.

Image798 Art Zone

It was really nice to “re-discover” Beijing, to just walk around, observe and to try new foods, just because. After 1 1/2 years of living here, I think I had become disenchanted with Beijing.

The “First” that took the cake however was when we went to an area of Beijing called Caochangdi (an area devoted to artists) to visit the animation studio of a popular artist called Sun Xun. I had never been to that side of Beijing, heck I didn’t even know there existed such a place in Beijing. My sister and I were staying in Wangjing (the Korean area), a pretty developed area towards the north of Bejing, she compared the look and feel of the place at times to New York City.

That morning we took a bus from Wangjing to Caochangdi and the more the bus drove, the more it seemed as though we were driving into wilderness. I have only ever been scared twice in Beijing, the first time when I was walking back to my dorm alone at night in a deserted part of campus and that day when we got off the bus in Caochangdi. People were just staring and it felt like one of those places where you don’t go if you don’t belong, but we kept walking trying to find the animation studio. 

We finally found a compound where we thought the animation studio was located, we later found out it was the wrong area. Now in all my time in Beijing, I have never seen a dog bark at a person, much less attempt to bite a person. In the compound, we had wandered into the wrong yard of an art studio, only to be greeted by a tiny mangy looking dog, I think the best visual description would be a furry rat with long legs, a small mouth and tiny teeth.

At first when we walked in, the dog was looking at us out of curiosity. It was a bit confused, maybe it was wondering if its owners were expecting company and didn’t forward the memo. Then I think it realised that we did not know where we were going and that’s when the barking started, followed by repeated attempts to get close to us and bite us with its tiny teeth. Everytime I pretended to get ready to kick it or my sister swung her bag at it, it ran away, only to advance again. The dog did not stop until we were out of the yard. 

I really have to admire that dog, because it knows we could have done some serious damage to its body, but it did its job. As long as we were in that compound, we never went back into that yard, and we were very cautious whenever we walked passed. 

Good or bad, here’s to first experiences wherever we are. 

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