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... lunch! After we were all assembled, we passed out for the full 2 hour bus ride back into Beijing.
I slept some more when we got back to the hostel because we were going to go for dinner with Sandy again. We met up at a station that entered into a market-type street with lots of small snacks and shops. I tried some sort of smelly and gross tasting drink that old people in Beijing enjoy. Then I got rid of the taste with a yogurt-type dessert with red bean. Dinner was on a street ...
... though....they all have air conditioning.... Amazing...there are no gutters, plumbing, some don't have windows, just cardboard covering wholes in the wall....but there on the wall is the LG air conditioner... Also the car out the front.... Usually less than 5 years old.... We spoke (I should say Ken did, I just ni hou, and nod) to a couple of people, had some egg rolls wafer, from a street market guy, he just cooked them....in the coals... Everyone is ...
... per family policy people are now marrying later as the poor men who have to pay for everything, have to wait longer to be able to purchase a home for their bride. Due to the ratio between men and women 8:1 women can be far re picky and contribute bugger all.
The amble to the Bell tower was such a slog ;-) across the path. Once again we climbed up very steep steps to see the largest bell in China. Once again the views over Beijing were spectacular and ...
... an honor to be able to live in the hutong. The one we visited seemed a bit run down, but the government is currently renovating the neighborhoods. Later, we saw a renovated hutong which looked very nice. We took a rickshaw ride around the hutong with a local guide (Ellen said she legally wasn't allowed to give us a tour here because the government pays local tour guides for hutong tours) and stopped at one to eat a traditional Beijing meal cooked by a local ...
... insisted that he take a photo of us with his mate on my camera (which I just had to include below). The views from the top of the mountains and the wall were truly amazing and won't be forgotten.
The descent was as hard as the climb but we made it to the obligatory souvenir area at the bottom, where Kate got an engraved plaque dated on her birthday which she can put in the depths of somewhere and drag it out in 20 years for some great memories.