We've been in Beijing for about 4 days now and it seems as if everything has changed and is still the same all at once.
The area where we used to live, and where we are currently staying, is much improved and cleaned up. It's no longer the hole it used to be. The Longze subway station has a new awning cover for the outside steps and many of the street sellers are gone. Our friends have told us they have been chased away by the Police. So while we don't walk through a mass of sellers anymore, some new more permanent little stores have popped up. New stores have come to the Hualian Mall and there is a large grocery store in the big building on the other side of the street.
One thing I noticed immediately was that prices have increased at least 5-10 RMB for most things here, especially grocery items. While that's still about one US dollar, it's a lot for someone on a Chinese income. Taxi fare still starts at 10RMB and there is an extra 2RMB tax if you travel more than 3km.
I will be posting a review of Crescent Moon Xinjiang restaurant next week as well as a review of Great Leap Brewing if I have an opportunity to get there. I will also be posting a new route to the Great Wall for day trippers.
We've had blues skies since we arrived, which has been a pleasant surprise. Our son has also been a huge hit when we have been taking the subway. Many people have been taking photos of our blond haired, blue eyed boy.
It's proven to be a bit of a challenge to post since Gmail is very slow and Blogger is blocked (just as it was when we lived here before), so I am posting by email. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned!