Tsingtao in Beijing
I walk across a carpet of chewed sunflower seeds while passing through hoards of people sitting on miniature red stools playing with their phones, fixing their makeup, and chugging bottles of Yanjing. It’s Friday evening and Ghost Street in downtown Beijing is coming alive for another night of cheap beer, baiju, and spicy crawfish.
During the Qing Dynasty, this thoroughfare was lined with mortuaries that prepared the city’s dead to be transported outside the city walls. Now, it looks more like New York City’s Times Square, with blinding lights, an overwhelming number of restaurants, and throngs of pop singers struggling to get in tune.
Read on: Roads and Kindoms