To live in Beijing is like suffering from Alzheimer’s. No, you don’t wake up every day looking for your wallet, but almost as disconcerting you spend much time double checking if you are indeed on the right street as countless changes prove hard to compute.
There I was just the other day heading down one of my most visited streets for a blind massage to blow out the martini stained cobwebs of the night before. Glancing up to my left expecting to see my regular Xinjiang restaurant with its gold turrets masquerading its plain interior from where the most wonderful hand pulled noodles have been created for decades the regular Beijing horror set in. In its place was a humdrum 24-hour shop kinda like a 7/11 with an orange plastic facade. Double check. I was here just a few weeks back. Totally gone.
And then the other common Beijing moment in such instances – reminiscing over all the times I had been to that place. Mental note to never, ever buy anything from that shop. And then I walk on, slightly dazed by the rapid demise of yet another favoured haunt and its speedy replacement, so speedy in fact that it leaves me wondering if the Xinjiang restaurant ever existed on that street at all. That’s Beijing Alzheimer’s for you. And chuffed with this new municipal medical term at another bar nearby I had to scribble it down for a later blog post or else I’d forget it!
Anthony Bourdain 1956-2018
1 week ago