Beijing Update.

It’s 4:30 AM, I can’t sleep.  I think I’m upset because I lost my camera and all the pictures of my visit to the Great Wall, video of insane China driving and other stuff I can’t even remember now.  Total bummer.

So far, Beijing has been awesome:

  • Flight was uneventful and totally manageable
  • The Beijing airport is enormous and beautiful – huge open space, high ceilings, clean, amazing art, friendly, easy to navigate.
  • An old woman on the airport tram was carrying a black, bedazzled, playboy bunny purse.
  • Got my luggage (yay)!
  • Exchanged some money.  $150 USD is over 900 RMB – that’s kinda fun!
  • Took a cab to the hotel (handed him a piece of paper with some Chinese on it, exchanged nods and it was done).
  • People bike and walk everywhere: across freeway ramps, on freeway ramps, on the freeway.
  • Nobody drives in a lane.  Everybody honks…constantly.
  • The city-street policy carry big, old-school, orange life preservers in the back of their cars.
  • Great Wall Sheraton is a great hotel.
  • Took a shower…a long shower.
  • Crashed.  Slept 12 hours (up in the middle of the night).
  • Ate free breakfast at the hotel: full, awesome, buffet with American and Chinese food.  Ate like 11,000 vegetable dumplings.
  • Met Cynthia in the lobby.  My friend Jeannie and Rob sent their driver to pick us up and take us to the Great Wall. 
  • Visited the Great Wall during a tropical storm and got drenched.  (No pics – lost my camera).  It was amazing. (Oh, and like Half Dome, people visit the Great Wall in stiletto high-heels).
  • Ate lunch in the middle of nowhere.  Picture this: enter restaurant through plastic flaps (like in a carwash or meat locker).  Looks like small, normal restaurant.  Few locals smoking and hanging out.  Escorted through doorway with cloth flaps into a labyrinth of enclosed courtyards joined by hallways. Enter hallway of private eating rooms: all glass windows and doors (like an outdoor porch) and tile walls and floors.  Anthropologie-style metal stand with porcelain basin, soap and towel.  Fresh wild mushrooms, noodles, rice, tea, and red pepper wild chicken (spicy).  I think I ate a chicken foot.
  • Jeannie took me to a spa for massage: you wear red, wool scrubs and they kneed you like dough.   It may not sound like it, but it was honestly the best massage I ever had.
  • Back to hotel. 
  • Crashed.

I love it here.  Wish I could speak Mandarin.

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1 Comment »

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