‘Now I know where you live’ -The Elusive CCTV Tower Part 2

After my initial failed attempt at finding the elusive CCTV tower, I did a little online research and discovered that there were indeed 2 CCTV towers. So the following day, I started out my second attempt in the scorching Beijing heat, this time armed with directions.

My directions ended at the subway station closest to the tower, with the next logical step being to look up in the sky, see the tower, and start walking in its direction. In reality, I looked up, and saw nothing but blue sky’s. New logical plan, walk until you can see the tallest building in Beijing. Within 20 minutes of circling the town on foot, I eventually see the bulbus head of the tower in the distance between two low-rise shopping centres. Elated, I march on.

Following a series of premature right turns and backtracking, I finally reach the entry at 1.45pm. Having started my hunt at 10am that morning, I was now hot, sweaty, dehydrated, starving and slightly delirious. Still, I was shamelessly excited, my curiosity had now become an obsession.

Unfortunately, after being informed that the revolving restaurant was only open from 11am to 2pm for lunch, I decided that I hadn’t come this far only to be rushed through my Japanese buffet, even though by this stage 15 minutes was more than enough time for me to consume everything in sight. This moment was to be savoured.

Looking up at the CCTV tower, I thought ‘ Tomorrow, it’s you and me my friend. Now I know where you live’, and I swear I heard the Wicked Witch of the West cackle in the background.

‘I am not asking you on a date’ – The Elusive CCTV Tower Part 1

I’ll start of by saying that my friends will understand my reasoning and obsession behind this.

When I heard from Harry, my local mate in the hutongs, that the CCTV tower was the tallest building in Beijing with an observation deck where you could view the whole city, and had a really good revolving Japanese buffet (did you say Japanese buffet?), I made it a personal mission to check it out.

So I had Eileen, my favourite girl who works at the Hutong Inn, (she’s really cute and always friendly) write down in Chinese where I needed to go, and confidently hailed a cab and agreed with whatever he said about directions.

Ten minutes later, the cabbie got excited as we neared a strangely angular shaped building, which was an interesting, beautiful, structure, and I’m no engineer, but all my revolving restaurant eating experience (and I’ve had my share) and instinct, was telling me that no, this was not where I needed to be.

The cabbie and I motioned back and forth, which in english would have gone like this:

Cabbie – ‘This IS the CCTV tower’

T – ‘No, it can’t be, a revolving restaurant can’t have edges’

And so on..

We even called over an innocent bystander to ask his opinion. He was a young man, kicking it on the curb with his 3 mates, who knew a tiny bit of english.

T – ‘Excuse me, where is the CCTV tower restaurant, where there is food’ (hand to mouth eating motion)

Guy – ‘erm’ (looks back at his friends, looks at me), ‘I am having lunch with my friends now, maybe later?’ takes out his phone.

T – No no no no no (crossing arms, shaking head) I am not asking you on a date! I want to eat. Not with you. Where is the CCTV tower??’

Guy – ‘Eat with me?’

T – To the cabbie ‘GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!’ frantic forward motioning.