Tuesday, June 3, 2014

FUDCon APAC Beijing - day 0 (Robert Mayr)

It happened all at the last moment, I decided to attend FUDCon APAC a lot after the official deadline, dropped an email to the organizers and as there were only a few days left before the event, I had to put together all my papers to obtain the visa for China.
At the end all went fine, I booked flights, a hotel and started thursday 22th from Milan. After a short stop in Zurich I was on the plane to Beijing, my first time in China. The flight was quite good, meals were fine and after a couple of films and according to schedule we landed in Beijing at 5:20 in the morning. I took up my luggage and went to the Airport Express, which took me to the city. After another short trip with the subway I got off the train and went to my hotel. Ah yes, my hotel...

I decided to stay in another hotel, still quite good but less expensive, because I would have been reimbursed only partially for the flight. The problem was...I was not able to find it! Obviously I tried to ask but people were not really able to help me. The decision to print the address of my hotel in chinese turned out a very wise thought. At the end, and after more than 2 hours, a nice chinese girl accompanied me to the hotel and gave me also her business card. She was my salvation!
After I checked in I had the whole day to discover this amazing city, so I took a shower and went to the center.
Distances are quite big and I had to learn this first, but chinese people are very helpful, and although they often are not able to understand, they try to help you in every situation.
I decided to visit the Lama Temple (Yonghe Gong) and it was quite impressive, it's not a very big place but I enjoyed this temple. The big buddha statue, 18 m high, is a must when you come to Beijing.

My first lunch in Beijing also was very curious, I discovered a small place were a lot of chinese people was eating, so it was a promising place. I asked for the menu and got it after seconds, but it was only in chinese...never mind I thought, and indeed a chinese guy who also spoke a bit of english asked if he could order for me and I let him do so.

What I got was a spicy soup and a good and cold Tsingtao beer, 25CYN were ok and after it I returned to the hotel, because I wanted to relax a bit before FUDPub.


The first social event also means the start of every FUDCon, so I moved to the 雕刻时光, (Sculpture in Time Cafè), where I met some of the other Fedora guys and GNOME folks.
Jiri, Jaroslav, Ankur, Alick, Nitesh, Somvannda were only a few, there was also Emily, who heads the GNOME stuff, Tobias from Germany and Lennart Poettering.
The evening was really good, we had pizza and rice with meat. Almost all of us wanted a beer, but unfortunately they had only a warm one...no problem, after FUDPub we took also a couple of well cooled beers in the hotel at 3CYN (!!!).

Subways in Beijing close at 23:00, so the evening was a bit short, but I was also very tired and I fell in the bed exhausted, looking forward to the first day of FUDCon APAC.