Fifteen Minutes in the Life of Beijing: Dongzhimen Residential Building

Saturday, 7 March 2009

An exposé of true Beijing life

In the style of Georges Perec, welcome to a series of blogs I plan to write, documenting life around Beijing. These will be an exposé of fifteen-minute time slots – in a variety of locales. This is every day life in Beijing, captured at its most simplistic, and most authentic.

I’m hoping this series will teach your family something about life in Beijing that you didn’t know, no matter how long you’ve lived here or plan to stay. I’m know I’m still learning.

I also hope to inspire older kids to journal their experiences in Beijing – for many expat kids, life in China will be a time that’s gone too soon.

So, pen and paper out… and get out and about while that sun is still shining!

3pm, Wednesday 20 August 2008

At the base of a residential building in Dongzhimen, in front of a baby care centre. Today, I want to see me some cute Chinese babies. And I’m even hoping to catch one whizzing on the street.

A gold convertible Audi parks on the street, in a place it is not meant to park

A man has an argument on a mobile phone

A small child comes to check out my laptop

A man walks by carrying Olympic posters rolled up into tubes

A man parks a motorized bicycle and locks it to the fence

A car horn

A car horn

Two women holding hands

A man on a mobile phone

A woman sits nearby to send an SMS on her mobile phone

A girl wearing gym gear

A car horn

A motorized bicycle goes by

A old man wearing an open shirt and filthy pants held up with rope, clutches a bursting plastic bag and rummages through a garbage bin

A car horn

A maid comes out to brush down the pavement with a splayed broom, bringing a young apprentice male with her

Four young men walk past, talking animatedly

An elderly lady wobbles by with a shopping bag

A car horn

A girl on a mobile phone

A woman with a mobile phone sits to talk

A car horn

A car horn

A car horn

Two woman walk by, one carrying an ironing board

A car horn

Four young women walk by

Two men on mobile phones

A handsome young man walks by; he looks at me, ooh la la

A car horn

A car horn

A car horn

A car horn

A car horn

A car horn

Two women and a little girl in a white summer dress come out of the baby care centre; no baby, alas

A man riding a bike talking on a mobile phone

A gorgeous young woman in a gorgeous green dress

A man sending an SMS on his mobile phone

A car horn

A girl on a motorized bicycle

Two middle aged women, laughing

The man unlocks his motorized bike and scoots off

A car horn

A couple holding hands

A car horn

A Chinese woman dressed in the colours of Australian sport – green and gold

A man on a mobile phone

A man sneezing

A man on a non-motorized bicycle

A middle aged couple walking and pointing

A grandmother, mother and son

An ayi and a Western toddler

A man smoking

A man sending an SMS on a mobile phone

Three young men carrying shopping bags

A man and a woman on bicycles

A man sending an SMS on a mobile phone

A young man on a bicycle

A car bleeping as it unlocks

A man on a motorized bicycle

Another man on a motorized bicycle, stopping to send an SMS

A business man

Three gorgeous young girls, slowing to look at me

A man talking on a mobile phone

A car horn

A woman in a white skirt running for a taxi; she misses, gets the next one

A car horn

A young couple

A Western woman with white blonde hair, sending an SMS

A woman with an umbrella, trailing her husband

An overworked, sad-looking woman carrying a plastic bag

A young woman in a mini skirt and a spangled gold top

A woman with an umbrella fishing plastic bottles from the garbage bin

A young man on a bicycle

A couple carrying a camera with a long lens

A young woman with an umbrella

A Western couple with short blonde hair walking with a young black woman with long hair

Two Western men, one smoking, one with a moustache and his cap turned backwards

A young man running

A car horn

A man carrying an envelope

The horn of a motorized bicycle

A couple holding hands

A man delivering a box

A car horn

A man sending an SMS

Another man sending an SMS

A car horn

A man shaking the mats from his car floor

A bicycle

A motorized bicycle, the rider smoking

A young woman holding a mobile phone

Another young woman carrying a green shopping bag

A man carrying paperwork, curled into a roll

A motorized bicycle

A young woman in a hurry

A middle aged woman carrying a shopping bag with ping pong bats inside

A car horn

An older man dragging a trolley stacked with pale green tubing

A young woman in sequins

A middle aged woman carrying juice

A lone Pomeranian dog

A woman on a bicycle

A car horn

An elderly woman sits to fan herself

A man with a briefcase

A young woman in shorts carrying a eco-green bag

A car horn

A family of four

A young couple

A man on a mobile phone

A man carrying a backpack and a flinging a pass around

Two well-dressed women, pointing, obviously lost

A couple

A man walking along holding his stomach

A girl in jeans and high heels that are too high for her

A couple returning to their gold Audi and driving away

A man blowing snot from his nose into a garbage bin and carrying a plastic sack

A girly in a floaty blue dress carrying iced tea

A man parking his bicycle

A car horn

No babies

No whizzing

First published on the City Weekend Beijing website.

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