Being used to the normal bustle of asian cities in general and the imperial capital in particular I found it surprisingly subdued on a cold and damp week in June 2013. Bookended by hot busy summer days it was as if the cold suck the energy out of the city and left me the sole wanderer in its otherwise crammed streets, parks and nooks.
Sometimes just relative to the norm but mostly complete.
Well, as clean as it could be.
Needless to say I would stumble into a crowd from time to time. Grandparents walking their grandchildren home from school. Rush hour traffic jams and optimistic balloon salesmen would remind me that I was in the heart of a busy metropololis.
At certain times I would treasure the solitude more than others. Like at the place where I first met my wife.