Day 111 - Everything Burrito

Saturday, May 28th, 2016
Smog Level: 2/3 Mountains


Oh my way to the gym, a little boy stares and openly points at me. His gaze - and finger -  following me as I pass by. He loudly announces something. I pop in my earbuds and keep walking. This happens again, but with different kids, when I return. Yes, hello.

The Mascot for whatever event is happening

As stated some days earlier, I am getting a blessed burrito today. Oh man, I’ve been looking forward to this. I’d asked around and invited a bunch of people, but the main goal is the burrito. Partially to avoid the annoyance that comes from people inevitably bailing from plans they had previously agreed to. Laziness, man; we're all guilty.


The mall - and streets surrounding it - are busier than usual. I can’t determine exactly what it is, but the only difference I can tell in the mall itself are the red stands that were there the first week I had arrived, and have been gone since then.


Dexter and Bunny are waiting for me at the subway station. Bunny said she thinks that it might be busier because those stands are traveling merchants with goods from all over, like Taiwan. We talk about Game of Thrones a wee bit, but neither of them have seen it.

Just one of many stalls

Bunny leads us to the restaurant, Pebbles. The good thing about living in such a large city is that you can find whatever it is you’re looking for. For the first while of being here, I figured that Western things would be impossible to find, but.. the internet and growing expat populations solve that problem.

Lama Temple!

We arrive at a hutong (walking street) that I’ve never been to before, exiting at the “Lama Temple” stop off of Line 5. I didn’t think there would be a lama temple, and only while writing this do I realize that it’s not spelled like the animal. It did get me wondering about where llamas are native to. South West China?*


Near the Lama Temple
While waiting for others to arrive, I am not disappointed by the menu. I am mildly disappointed about their drink selection. It says they have horchata (milky cinnamon alcoholic beverage) and that looks damn appetizing. Méiyǒu; Don’t have. This is the theme for their entire drink menu today.

Hot As Balls!

Once everyone arrives, we’ve got Alex, Ryan, Jen, Shimou, Bunny, Helena, and Dexter all round the table. Stories were told, beers were drank, and sauce called “hot as balls” was consumed. It... yeah, it was hot. Just past my level of tolerance. I was sweating for a bit before it subsided. Helena, on the other hand, likes things so spicy that they make you cry. She thought it was aaaalright.


One topic of discussion that came up was this advert that had picked up international attention for being so racist. A Chinese woman is approached by a black man. She’s calling him over, he’s about to kiss her when she pops a soap tablet into his mouth and tosses him into the washing machine. One wash cycle later, out pops a Chinese man. No subtle undertones there, certainly not!

Reggae/Taiwanese Bar!

The group leaves to find another bar down the hutong, Alex and Ryan to go their separate ways. We look into various shops, Jen tries to get some sticky rice dessert which the “locals” (Helena, Shimou, and Bunny, only Helena isn't from beijing) have never tried.

The Group
A small, cozy-looking bar catches my eye. It seems to be Taiwanese themed, but is playing reggae/bob marley. This turns, eventually, to club music. I find out that neither Jen nor Helena have ever been drunk before. Helena has half of a drink and it’s evidently affecting her. She’s all smiles. They describe the feeling of alcohol as “dizziness.” It’s been so long since the first time I drank that I, like most people, automatically attribute the effects to alcohol and not to feeling sick. Then again, they say Asian people are lacking an enzyme that helps to break alcohol down, so it could feel different.

Dexter, Bunny, Shimou and I share an uber back to our homes, while Helena and Jen go their respective ways.

Take away: Pebbles has damn good texmex.

*Google says South America. My geography has only improved for some of the areas I've travelled and nowhere else.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Burrito (again)
Juǎn bǐng
[joo-ahn bing/be-ung]

Editing Music
Sic Transit Gloria (Glory Fades)
Brand New
(The video's worth a watch)

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