fog and florals

thrifted Motel dress / Zara shoes / Barkins sunglasses / hand-me-down hairbow

Photos by mom

After staying in Beijing for a few days, I will never take Sydney's blue skies for granted ever again. The pollution here is so overwhelming that the city looks like it's hiding behind perpetual fog.

These Zara flats are the first and only non-trinket things I've bought so far since coming here -- I've really been doing a lot less shopping than I expected. We've been to a couple of department stores, but I've yet to find anything that I really like. As for the shoe departments, the heels are so small! Or at least to someone who prefers to clomp around in 5-inchers, 2-inch heels seem rather...unsatisfactory. And the sizes usually only go up to 39; I feel like a clown with my 39/40 feet. :D

Tomorrow morning I'm going on a ten-day tour of Yunnan, and I don't know what the internet situation will be like, so I might not be able to update until I get back. But I promise lots of pictures! :)


the royal gardens

Princess Highway top / American Apparel skirt / Topshop sandals / ASOS sunglasses / Beijing markets ring & hairbow

Photos by mom

Today we visited two of the imperial royal gardens, Beihai Park and Jingshan Park. Beihai Park, which encircled a lake, was particularly enormous, and we walked for more than two hours along the lake without coming back to where we started. It was absolutely fascinating, though; the park has become somewhat of a gathering place for senior citizens, who can be found doing anything from playing cards or checkers, to participating in dance lessons, kareoke, plaing musical instruments, and my favorite, doing calligraphy on the sidewalk with giant sponge brushes dipped in water.

This was the second day in a row that we walked for at least six hours straight, and by the end of it, I was practically sleepwalking, but the memories and experiences and the endless sights and things to do were absolutely worth a couple hours of dying feet. :)


welcome to old beijing

thrifted Lollipop dress / thrifted Wittner sandals / ASOS sunglasses / Alphabet Bags tote / hand-me-down hairbow

Photos by mom

We spent the day in a very old district dedicated to arts and antiques; it was dilapidated to perfection, and I loved every minute of it.

I was drooling over this gorgeous umbrella

These edible figurines were made from melted sugar

Lotus shoes for bound feet, 350 RMB (AU$55); I won't lie, I desperately wanted a pair

This unfathomably talented man has painted the insides hundreds of these little jars


a sprawling city

Temt top / Milk & Honey skirt / Valleygirl belt / Topshop sandals / ASOS sunglasses / self-made hairbow

Photos by mom

Here are pictures from my first full day in China! The reason there aren't many tourist-y pictures in this post is because we spent today visiting relatives and eating so much good food. I don't know how I'm supposed to get through a month here without ending up gaining about 20 pounds!

I did get a general impression of the city, though, while we drove through it this morning. Simply said, Beijing is enormous, the urban sprawl is absolutely out of control. Much of the city has become, or is in the process of becoming, super-modernized, with countless ostentatious 'architectural wonders' of office buildings which make up the industrialized districts.

But I do have a special attachment to my aunt and uncle's apartment blocks, as it was where I spent two years of my very early childhood. With countless aging and rusted bicycles haphazardly lining the walkways, ancien grafitti chalked on walls, and spartan cement stairways leading up to each residence, it's a marked contrast to the steely newness for which the city has recently become renowned. But there's beauty in this crumbling neighborhood; it's like a lost way of life. And in a way, it is.