31 January 2010

Alone in Beijing

Nothing gets the blood flowing like a taxi ride through a rural western district of Beijing on a dark, frigid night. My driver fails to catch the outer reaches of the glow cast by his blood red Hyundai Sonata's headlights ... but I suppose he can't be faulted for not trying.

A weekend that began welcoming a friend back to the city on Friday gave way to farewells to others on Saturday. The rotating door of Shanghai is always in motion.

Now I find myself alone in Beijing on Sunday. Taxis and airports. Room keys and business cards.

The city that flashes by the windows of my taxi is both mysterious and exciting. Lyrics from Andrew Bird's concert on Friday float through my mind...

being alone it can be quite romantic
like jacques cousteau underneath the atlantic
a fantastic voyage to parts unknown
going to depths where the sun’s never shone
and i fascinate myself when i’m alone

I stare ahead through the windshield and silently cheer on the driver. Maybe we can outrun the headlights!

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