Notes from China.

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It’s OK to not be nice, sometimes.
7.1.10
(United flight, San Fran to Beijing; and in the taxi from Beijing airport to FuHao Hotel)

I’ve decided that it’s OK to ‘not be nice’, sometimes.

I’m on a 10+ hour flight and have been ever so, and not so, politely trying to tell the jabbermouth next to me that I want (to read, to watch the movie, to stare at the tray table in front of me, you to shut the F up!)

I got up to go to the lavatory and literally got rescued by the flight crew.  They whisked me away to a quiet, empty row on the opposite side of the plane, and with lots of leg room!

They noticed the guy, sweet as he was, invading my personal space; yacking at me all 5 hours in to the flight and decided to save me.  They put me in the section where they sit, by one of the emergency exits, so they were on their feet most of the time.

At one point, one of the stewardesses from first class walked by and said to me, “we need to get you some wings”.  Minutes later, she came back and pinned me, right above “Northface” printed on my fleece jacket; making sure to pin them on straight.

As far as I’m concerned, United crew members rock.

And.  It’s OK to be nice sometimes.

The principal of it is moot to people who spit on you when they talk while you have your nose in a book; after you’ve slowly and clearly said, “OK, I am going to read now”.

**See more pics from this series here.**

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Beijing AM
7.3.10
(Early morning walk in Beijing, ~6am)

Walking through Beijing I see loaded busses, bicyclists, elder people in the park stretching, talking , fanning themselves in the damp morning sun; joggers.

I hear birds, one in a cage owned by an older man slapping his legs and circling his knees, clapping.  He lets me take pictures of his caged bird.  He swings the cage to-and-fro and speaks to me, pointing at the bird.  “Wo bu dong.”  “I don’t understand,” I say and click away.  The bird does not stay still.

Couples walking their sleeping babies in strollers.  The pedestrian and bicycle traffic lights blink red/yellow/green, green/yellow/red.  I catch glances and seconds of stares with no affect.

Two fluffy, white, collarless dogs trot by me in the park.

The old man with the caged bird is kicking up his feet and circles at the waist.

A man walks by at a fast pace clapping the tops of his hands together.  An old woman sits across from me slapping her left knee, losening her joints.

I hear a bicycle squeak by behind me.

Beijing is waking up.

**See more pics from this series here.**

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