Sometimes you just need a break from Beijing. It’s inevitable. Although I love this city, sometimes the sheer amount of people ramming their elbows into you while you ride the subway, or the “fog” that you’re breathing in and is shortening your life, can be a little too much for extended lengths of time. Ideally, my break from Beijing would be to go back home, where LA’s skies are considered “blue,” my mom makes me steak and potatoes, and I lie out sunbathing by my pool. Unfortunately, being unemployed kind of limits how far I can travel.
Last week, Alex and I decided to take our own break from Beijing and head to Shenzhen for several days to visit my dad, who was in town. Although Beijing’s weather has been getting nicer, it’s still dry as a desert. As soon as we stepped off the plane, we felt a stickiness on our faces that was almost foreign. I had forgotten what it was like to be in a humid environment. Though slightly uncomfortable, it was definitely a welcome change. I’ve been to Shenzhen numerous times, and there are many similarities to Beijing in the sense that Shenzhen is also a good-sized city. However, sometimes “taking a break” just means taking a break from a familiar environment. The subways in Shenzhen aren’t as crowded. People actually wait for passengers to get off the train before getting on, and cars and buses actually stop behind the crosswalk. I loved having to look at a subway map to figure out how to get to certain places. And I actually really like staying in hotels.