Here we are in the airport awaiting our next flight. Time for some final thoughts from our Beijing sojourn perhaps? Well, as you asked…
Travelling around Beijing with two boys is like wearing a great deal of expensive jewelry in New York. It took us a while to understand that the reason that so many locals asked if the boys were twins was less about how they look, and more about the fact that we had two boys. In a country where one child is the norm and girls are not preferred, two boys is riches.
The other assumption, in a country where everyone has black hair, is that the boys are, as a local said to us yesterday, “of mixed blood”.
China is changing fast. Much of it reminds me of Eastern bloc countries I visited twenty years ago. But other bits surpass what you’ll see in the average Western city. I have a feeling that if we come back in a few years, the hutong we stayed in will be gone, or only preserved as a tourist piece. I’m really pleased we all got to see a bit of real Beijing life; although I can well understand why the locals would prefer to have a kitchen to replace preparing their food in a bucket in the street.
Two weeks in and travelling with kids is going fine. The boys have been interested and engaged and are learning things all over the place. They’re even having fun too. Callum’s favoured thing from Beijing was the Science Museum; Declan’s favourite was the Forbidden City. We’re all adapting well to a world on the move although I think a week is just long enough to get a real grip on a place so it’s a shame to be moving on quite so quickly.
Anyway, on to Munich now. So, xie xie for listening.