Ok so my travels begin!
Only kicked in once I had said goodbye to mum, joysie and Emily at the check-in gate... Although I was sad I realised i was grinning to myself like a weirdo as it actually dawned on me that I was going around the world on my own, and with not much of clue as to what I was doing!
Caught the (delayed) Manchester flight to London Heathrow, which was again delayed by short while. We were then cheered up by being made to walk STRAIGHT THROUGH business and 1st class to our MUCH SMALLER seats at the back (thanks BA for just showing everyone what they can't afford ha!) I was seated at the side in an isle seat, and because the plane was pretty empty I followed advice online to move seats to the centre as quick as possible as they were completely freed up and it meant I could lie down of needs be! On tha flight I met a guy called michael who's doing TEFL in china, andwashy called Daniel who was staying in a hostel just down the road from me.
When we landed I shared a taxi with Daniel to get to Sanlitun where we were staying. He'd lived in Beijing for a year before so he offered to meet me later on to show me around Sanlitun and grab something to eat. I'm currently in an 8bed shared 'mixed' dorm, turns out its ALL men so ive got a feeling a may have accidentally booked a male dorm hahaa. It's only got 4 other guys in it though so its not too busy. Met a guy from Berlin, one from Canada and José from Panama!
At one point when the room was empty I suddenly felt pretty overwhelmed with everything, I think I really threw myself in the deep end with this one.
The Canadian guy offered if I wanted to come with him and 2 other guys he'd met (from Birmingham) to a market as they wanted to practise their new found haggling skills! Was..err.. quite an experience. One went in not wanting anything in particular as they're going home tomorrow, but ended up leaving with a miniature chess set, a mug that 'turns into a panda' when filled with hot water, a giant stone buddah and 4 pairs of shoes haha. They sell a lot of decent fakes so think I might go back tomorrow morning and get some bits and pieces and maybe ship them home so I'm not carrying everything. I definitely need to get a jacket as the wind is SO SO cold.
I then met Daniel and went for a wander round, turns out Sanlitun is probably the most westernised area of Beijing and we walked past a Reiss, Mango and many other familiar clothes shops. We then went to somewhere called 'Shanghai Dumplings' where I ordered something called 'bran dough with peanuts and black fungus'! Then just in case we were being too traditional we finished it off with a hot chocolate from Starbucks!!
It then got to the point where the jet lag finally caught up with me and my brain and mouth refused to cooperate together, so we called it a night and went back to our hostels and crashed.