Our first day in Beijing we took it easy as we got to know the city. Nothing big planned just a trip to Wal Mart 🙂 Aunt Mac was fascinated to see what Wal Mart looked like in China and got the biggest kick when I told her there was one in Beijing. It came up because she was nervous about what to pack and I told her “Don’t worry, if you forget anything we can get you what you need, they EVEN have Wal Mart in China” Well, that had to be seen 🙂
That proved to be a good excuse for us to go out and get to know the subway and just take it easy. So we got our directions and headed that way. Along the way we found a great little bakery and thru pointing and smiling picked out a few pastries to try. They all looked the same on the outside, but inside on was dark red and another was bright purple! all were super tasty and in fact we never found those same pastries again, even though we looked.
The Wal Mart was such a sight to see, and I think my Aunt was amazed at how…Western it was. It’s liked the picked it up from middle America and just filled it with Chinese people. The same signs, same layout, everything about it was very Western.
We walked around the area some and then made our way back to the hotel. After 4 days of Asian food, I decided Aunt Mac might like something more accessible and I found a cute Italian Place in the old Hutong (Chiniese alley neighborhoods) for us to explore. We took the subway and then walked down a main road which was bustling with new shops and restaurants and was very fun looking. Then we turned to head into the Hutong areas and found ourselves walking alone down a narrow road/alley all alone! Oh man, my poor Aunt, who knows what she was thinking. But we kept on walking, take a few turns, passing one or two people and then at last came to a busy corner and there tucked among the homes was this little Italian Restaurant called Mercante! (http://www.timeoutbeijing.com/venue/Food__Drink-European-Italian/15359/Mercante.html)
So we headed in and had ourselves some lovely pasta,wine,and steak. Aunt Mac wanted the Bolognese but they were out that evening so she had steak instead. At the end we had a good laugh about our first meal in China being steak dinner, but it was very tasty and we knew there was plenty of Chinese food in our future.