Last Day(s) in Beijing- Or, a series of unfortunate events

Our last day in Beijing was a somewhat unexpected one. Because of problems with our train tickets, we had to leave a day later than expected. Our original ‘last day’ was a very unlucky one.


It starts and ends at the train station. During the 15 minutes it took to exchange our tickets, a downpour started outside. Foolishly thinking that Beijing rain would be a fast and furious downpour, similar to what we’re used to in the south, we decided to wait it out while arranging a new hostel from KFC.


When it became evident that the rain wouldn’t stop anytime soon, we abandoned our seats to try to find a cab (no metro nearby). However, flooding had caused the taxis to park it, cover their exhaust pipes, and curl up for a late afternoon nap. After nearly five hours of trying taxis, trying to find the metro, and attempts at unraveling the mystery that is the Beijing bus system (with millions of others, nevertheless), we had finally had enough and gave in to an out-of-budget hotel nearby.


Yet, our story of misfortune doesn’t end there. The hotel’s elevator was out.

Our room? On the 12th floor.


After climbing up, we came to a room that was seemingly occupied. After calling the front desk, they confirmed that it was ours and sent a team of housekeepers up to tidy and attempt to fix the broken plumbing.


Finally, we were given the nod and allowed to begin the process of hanging up every soaked item we had.


If you think I’m exaggerating the flooding, it made a lot of news which can be found translated, consolidated, and pictured here.


A vendor selling kites in front of the Bird's Nest



Our last actual day was a better one for us. We re-packed our bags and went to spend our last ours in the city seeing things we would have otherwise missed: the Olympic Park and Lama Temple.


When we finally made our way back to that fateful train station, we were good and exhausted from hurrying through the city toting our bags (thankfully, we travel light) and ready for our 15-hour train ride to Xi’an.


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