Let’s face it, Beijing is huge. Like, really, really large. If you can make it somewhere in under an hour, consider it a personal achievement. And the problem with large cities is that they equal large amounts of transit time, whether it’s you on your way to work, or the kids heading to school. Thinking about where that wasted hour, two hours, even three hours of transit time every day goes can be a depressing thought, so we’ve thought up some suggestions for making the most of that time spent getting from point A to point B. Whether it requires some brainwork, learning a new skill, or just managing not to fall asleep, we can all afford to use this time a bit more productively. Read on for our tips on making the time count.
We live in the digital age! Don’t have a smart phone? Get with the program! Just kidding, but seriously. There are thousands upon thousands of apps out there that can help you make this transit time fly by. Here are some of our picks.
A language-learning tool with over 200 languages to choose from. Input your HSK level for Mandarin, or start a new language from scratch. Offline mode is available.
Trivia games that offer a diverse range of subjects – from naming the capital cities of the United States, to naming all of the elements, to finding all of the possible antonyms for a certain word. Seriously addictive.
Price: RMB 18
A good one for the kids, or if you just feel like brushing up. Peruse the options out there, some offer games to make the learning more interactive, most are free.
Chosen by Apple as the 2014 App of the Year, Elevate is a brain-training program that works to improve your focus, speaking abilities, memory, math skills, amongst other things. It has games, detailed performance tracking, and daily workouts to help you in your daily life.
Price: Free for the standard app
Bring a book that you’ve felt too busy to read in other times. Audiobooks and kindles are also good options for the more tech-savvy among us, and are also less likely to cause motion sickness. Check out The Wangfujing Foreign Languages Bookstore for English options. Another option is to download a Ted Talk or another podcast from the iTunes store for the ride.
Phone dead? Forgot to bring a book? Seen the blooper clips that they play on the subway screens a thousand times already? You can always rely on your old friend imagination. What’s the best escape route in case of emergency? What are you going to cook for dinner? Why does that young Chinese woman look so sad? These are all good questions that you can use this time to answer. Enjoy.
Photos: courtesy of pixabay, Memrise, Sporcle, Times Tables, and Elevate.