Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Saturday Quest

Posted by He Said

At home in Reno I have two friends.  Interestingly enough I knew them both for some time before they finally met each other and fell in love.  I actually had a little to do with her coming to work with me at my recent job where she eventually met, fell in love with and ultimately married my coworker.

He is an Anti-Apple Fanatic, Microsoft Fanboy who by looking at him you would think he is the secret love child between Bill Gates and… um… well if Bill Gates could self propagate you would have my friend. The woman is an Apple iPhone fan with an obsession for all things iPhone related (and a secret lust for an Apple computer I think).  They both rock.  I was lucky enough to be the best man at their wedding and am lucky enough to call them friends.

To protect the names of the innocent in this story, let’s call them “Kevin” and “Barbara.”

I come to China and find out the one and ONLY Apple store in all of China is right here in Beijing. A short 20 minute subway right and 15 minute walk away.  I HAD to go there so I could take pictures and share them with “Barbara.”

So here is the iconic apple logo on the store in Sanlitun Village, Beijing.


Here is the family pretending to try to get a call through on the oversized iPhone. We were not successful.


Here is me NOT REALLY pretending to contemplate buying a Macbook Pro.


These pictures were not really for “Barbara”, but so I could piss off “Kevin” FOR “Barbara.” I am pretty sure it was successful because every time he Skypes me he waves his quality wines in my face and says “oh, sorry, I keep forgetting all the wine you get in China is CRAP!”

I wanted so badly to take pictures to share with “Kevin”  of the Microsoft campus being built right behind my apartment.  Not FOR him, but so I could also piss him off, because I have been here and he hasn’t. Neener neener neeeener.  Yes.  I am a child. Alas, there are no signs to include in pictures so they could be one of 20,000 other new buildings being erected here in Beijing.

Instead I concocted the most wonderful plan.  The most wonderfully evil of all plans.  I found a new target.  A new location that only I could visit and “Kevin” would forever be jealous of.  This morning I managed to convince the entire family to embark on my Saturday quest.

This would take me about 20 minutes across two subway lines, one very busy transfer station and a 20 minute trek through a local sidewalk market complete with shoes, clothing, mobile tattoo & piercing parlors, “professional” phone screen protection installation stations, bead, book and yes, rabbit, turtle, snake and baby chicken salesmen. Let’s not forget the socks.  Everywhere we go someone is always trying to sell us socks or there are tables full of socks for sale.

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As you can see I didn’t go alone on this quest.  I took the whole family with me, and as always, it was an adventure.

We stopped to feed the kids along the way (yes, at McDonald’s, shut up and leave us alone) and enjoyed more “Brangelina visits yet another location in Beijing and gets nonstop attention and praise” moments. By the way Braedyn is getting as much attention these days as Emily.

This sidewalk sales lady insisted Emily use her chair while we waited for Susanne to order food (using her iPhone of course).


Then we headed up the street with me using a screencap of Google maps to find the destination of our Saturday Quest. You see it is too expensive to use AT&T here, and my phone has the latest software/firmware and cannot be unlocked to be used with ChinaTelecom.  So I can only use it online on a wi-fi connection. On the road, there is no live feed.


We also had to make one stop along the way so that Emily could pretend to make a phone call home to Jacob.  It was very sweet.  For you young whipper snappers out there, that is a Pay Phone.  You can look it up on wikipedia.


And there it is…in the distance…the object of our quest. Can you see it?


That’s right.  Google Beijing headquarters.  The holy grail of Beijing Nerddom, and I found it WITHOUT an internet connection using a screencap from GOOGLE maps on my iPHONE.

Oh, the irony.

So here it is “Kevin.”  Google Beijing visited by the Moyle family just for you.

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Oh, and you know that saying they have? “Don’t be evil.”  HA! The bastards wouldn’t even let me take pictures of the 10 foot red map marker in the lobby. I could understand if the secret to their search algorithm was printed on it. It looked like the ones you see here:

google beijing - Google Maps 522010 84105 AM.bmp 
Won’t let me take a picture? Hmph, see if I ever Google anything ever again.  Or better yet I will continue to use Google. I just wont ever click on any of your stupid ads, and I will tell all my friends…all two of them…never to click on your ads. We will drive you to BANKRUPTCY!

See how that works out for you, GoogleDevil! I JUST WANTED ONE PICTURE IN YOUR LOBBY!!!


I think I will go buy a MacBook now.

Update: Some of you with an attention to detail will likely point out that I said a 20 minute walk.  The Google map screenshot says 8 minutes.  Google Maps does not have an option to select Walk With Caucasion Children Through Beijing.


  1. That is quite possibly the best Google news reader item I have ever read! When we Skyped you and you said you were going to go there, I was so super jealous but had to hide it.

    How did you get a family picture at the Google sign!?!?

    I miss you guys, and am looking forward to having you back on this side of the Pacific pond.

  2. The combination of 12 second self timer, 85mm zoom, a planter with a ledge just the right height across the 4 lane driveway and a 12mp camera so I could zoom and crop waaaay in. :)

    Aint technology great.

    Can't wait to see you guys too!

  3. What is this talk about them not letting YOU take a picture. Ahem. WHO asked? Yeah, that's right. NOT YOU. :P

    And if there were any question of who "Kevin" was, just look at his avatar! Can you say Bill-Gates Mini Me?

  4. Oh you guys, I loved this post! We miss you so much and can't wait for you to be back. Thanks as always for subjecting Kevin to more Apple stuff. Mwuhahaha. :)