I was sitting at one of my favorite restaurants and noticed a bright light pointing right at me. I also noticed that there were cameras pointed at me.
Trust me, I’m not that important and this isn’t a movie set.
It is simply a fact of life since I was in one of Beijing’s two Embassy districts.
They are quite safe and well protected. All have walls, cameras and 24 hour guards.
Coincidentally, the guards look incredibly serious and tough. However, when I say “Ni hao” or smile at them, they smile right back and say, “Ni hao” in return. There is no fear or intimidation. They seem almost like kids.
It is another reason I enjoy Beijing so much; people are incredibly friendly here. I often find myself smiling and joking around with young kids on the subway and their parents seem to enjoy it as much as they do. It makes the time fly by and humanity gets a bit more connected each time.
Back to the cameras:
The protection for an embassy is understandable. The difference between each nation’s embassy structure is often quite striking. Some are more like fortresses while others are more relaxed and welcoming.
It is wonderful to walk around the embassy districts and just look at the people, the architecture and the hustle and bustle of every day life as seen through so many different people from so many different cultures.
And, every so often, I look up and say hello to my little friend.