The Beijing Tap Water Museum (BJ Bucket List #1)

There are a few things on my bucket list for Beijing. And this was the first thing we’ve knocked off the list!!

After parking the car in a ‘xiaoqu’ carpark, we followed the parking inspector’s directions to…

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The Beijing Tap Water Museum!!

After passing the ticket booth, where the guard insisted that we didn’t have to buy a ticket, we found ourselves in a big field with assorted exampled piping and old machinery. Some groundskeepers were watering the grass/weeds (perhaps to check the water quality?!?!?) and repaving the paths. We were the only guests of the field.

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Look how big the pipes are to get water to Beijing!

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No water at the tap water museum.

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Oh wait, there’s a little bit of green water.

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No pizza for you!

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Well-watered lawn. I’m thinking it would be a great place for a picnic! I wonder what the guard would do…

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Does this remind anyone else of the chamber from “Licence to Kill”?

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Weedy.

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Quite beautiful architecture

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As we rounded the corner, we realised that there was a big museum inside the red building! It was mostly full of a lot of Chinese info, but it had big empty spaces for babies to crawl/run around and some cool models of the water system. There was one other family inside… not a big tourist attraction! The second guard did make us buy a ticket though.

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The Beijing water network

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Whoops! I think someone poked the Forbidden City.

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The Beijing Tap Water Museum in 1949 (can you see the train going through the city wall?)

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The Beijing Tap Water Museum “now”. We couldn’t see the giant water tower though… that must be gone. And the model seemed quite a lot more manicured.

Beijing is so full of random adventures! You may also be interested in Fake Disneyland, Crab Island and Wonderland Abandoned Amusement Park. Onto bucket list item #2.

Baby-led Weaning – Frittatas

Another quick recipe to throw your way… frittatas! Super easy and quick to make, and again, very popular with the little one. The thing I like the most about these is that they are baked in muffin trays, so they are automatically a perfect size for little hands.

Find the original recipe here! And here is my variation:

Frittatas

  • 1 rasher bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 capsicum (or other random veg)
  • a small bunch of spinach
  • (I also threw in some pre-cooked rice to bulk it out a little)
  • 4 eggs

Throw the bacon, garlic and veg into a frypan, and fry for a few minutes. Then, put the ingredients into a bowl and mix in the 4 eggs. Throw in the chopped spinach. 

Pour the mixture into muffin tins. I half-filled full-size muffin tins. The original recipe suggests mini-cupcake trays. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the egg is cooked through.

This is a very flexible recipe – you could throw anything in it!! The original recipe also had cheese, but we’re keeping dairy away for a little while…

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Baby-led Weaning – Mango Cake

The best thing about this cake?? The colour!!! It’s a complete sunshine, sunflower, banana yellow! So beautiful. It just made me want to gobble it all up. I did my best to stop after two slices. I may have eaten three.

It is a flourless cake, and it is made with ground almonds. But, nut allergies, you ask??? Yes, I know there is a risk of  allergies, since she has never had any before. However, I figured that I would rather have her eat almonds at home, and watch carefully for reactions that be out and about and have something go wrong.

Thankyou to my lovely playgroup-Mum-buddy Kate for this recipe! You can find the original recipe here. However, I tweaked it a little and here is mine:

Mango Cake

  • about 8 baby mangoes
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 eggs worth of olive oil (because eggs are expensive!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

1. Puree the mangoes in a food processor.

2. Add the almonds & baking powder into the food processor and mix.

3. Slowly add the eggs & olive oil on a low speed.

4. Put in pan and bake for half an hour in my crazy oven, but I suspect much longer in a normal oven. Until a knife comes out clean.

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Golden!

(excuse the slops on the side… I had a very short window of opportunity to bake this one… very hurried!)

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Thumbs up from this one!

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It looks much yellow-er in real life!

The pictures aren’t great… I could only find my mobile at the time! Sorry!

Here are some of my other successful baby led weaning recipes:

Zucchini slice and potato cakes
Banana bread
Pikelets

Abandoned Amusement Park is no longer

The abandoned Wonderland Amusement Park is no longer… demolished to add another useless shopping mall to this city. Possibly will have had a bigger tourism industry from photography than it will ever have as a mall along a freeway in outer Beijing.

Lucky we got there in time!!

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Click here to see our pictures.

And here for the news story on That’s Beijing.

Why we’re leaving China…

I’m feeling sad today. I took bubs out for a walk this morning to run some errands. And I was walking to the market, I ran into so many grandmas who wanted to say hello to bubs and exclaim over her. Then, a lovely lady started chatting to me, and we walked and talked for at least 5 minutes. No agenda – just a general chat about life. We parted ways as I headed downstairs to hunt for some buttons and she wandered off in search of cheap vegies. Why is this sad? Because a thought kept sneaking back into my mind… we shouldn’t be outside… the pollution is too high today… I should be walking faster so we’re back inside sooner.

Sad.

So yes, it’s sad. We’re sad. Super sad. It’s been a really hard decision. The hardest we’ve ever made. It’s weird. It should have been harder to leave Australia and move over here in the first place, but it’s not. It’s much harder to leave. We’ve created our adult lives here. We have a home and careers. But it’s time.

This year has been tough. We’ve put up with three months of intense pollution. Intense. We didn’t really have a break. In the past six years that we’ve lived here, winter has always been beautiful. Blue skies and winter sunshine has always dominated, despite the cold temperatures. But this year was different.

When we think back to our childhoods, we both played outside, in the backyard, on the beach and in the playground. If we stay, I fear Adella will be stuck inside an apartment too much. She loves going outside so much and I’m tired of that being dictated by the pollution report.

I also don’t feel like we’re living the same adventurous lifestyle that we were before. Yes, we have a kid now, but we no longer eat street food and we search high and low for organic, clean food. And I feel that more and more we are living a western lifestyle in China, rather than embracing the wonderful culture that surrounds us.

Speaking of surroundings, we’re going to miss our Beijing family so much. We’ve built such a wonderful, supportive community here. We’ve had some amazing adventures and we have been so lucky to have ayi for Adella’s first year, which has allowed us to go back to work knowing that she was being looked after so well.

How are we dealing with it? I’ve been busying myself with a lot of sewing, studying for the HSK and in the evenings, we’ve been working our way through 7 seasons of American Dad. Living slightly in denial…

I know that once we arrive back in Australia and are surrounded by family and friends, we will feel different. We get to enjoy the sunshine, go to the beach, eat amazing food and start a new adventure. It will be fantastic. I know that.

But today, I’m sad.20130328_075839

Because sometimes it looks like this…
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…but other times it looks like this.

(Same bridge, two different directions, obviously two different days).