Sunday, December 16, 2007

Beijing Railway Museum


I heard a rumor that there was a train museum in Beijing, and I got it into my head that we needed to find it. So today, Bart’s only day off, I packed the diaper bag, and off we went.

First, however, I called the front desk and asked them to help me get directions. They called me back with some vague directions, which I apparently misspelled. Because we never did find the street where we were supposed to turn left. It was Danshizhu… or Tanshigu, or Dazushu, or something like that.

When we couldn’t find the street, but we thought we’d probably passed it, we just turned left and headed in that general direction. And sure enough, somehow we ended up on exactly the street we needed. We followed it to the end, and after much back and forthing and rolling down of windows to ask directions, we arrived at the museum. Here Bart came in handy. I can say “train” in Chinese (hua che), but not museum. Also, since I can’t understand what anybody says, I would’ve just stared blankly as they told me to go back and turn right at the tracks. But Bart understood – that last year of language hell paid off today.

So we found the museum, and the kids absolutely loved it. There were steam engines and sleeper cars and even an ancient little engine that was the tiniest thing I’d ever seen – and the kids were allowed to climb all over everything. They got absolutely filthy, but they had a blast.

Tomorrow Bart goes back to work. And I’ll have all three kids at home for the next three weeks – Shay has a long winter break. I’m not sure how I’ll have the time to get any real writing done, but I’ve contracted to write two articles over the next few weeks, and I’m working on a couple of other things as well, so I’d better keep working despite the craziness that’ll reign in the house.








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