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... the family (they had a son called Daniel who spoke reasonable English so acted as translator a lot). We went to a local restaurant for some traditional Beijing cuisine. Anna’s ‘uncle’ asked me to try some Chinese rice wine, which tasted like hardcore vodka (56% ABV) and also some beer. He then proceeded to order a mountain of food, which we ate hungrily (it was only polite). We were sat in our own private room at the restaurant and Anna’s ...
... again with someone else - the good thing about being in a city with 20 million people is that you never see the same person twice, other than the staff in shops, bars etc, so it's ridiculously easy to approach people and just start talking to them. But it is genuinely a massive help actually being in the place where they only speak the language you're learning, as I can just leave the classroom and use what I've just learnt straight away. For example, after an 'asking ...
... I tried to explain that at >10,000 miles long it would not be humanely possible in one day. LOL.
Next up was a visit to the place where the 2008 Olympics were held. We saw the "Birdnest" building where they had the opening ceremonies and the "Cube" where the swimming events were held. With limited time we could only choose to tour one building. Of course my little swimmer chose to visit ...
... It sounds so typical, touristy, or unexciting, but there are no words to describe the feeling when you are up there. I haven’t really figured out yet how to even respond when people ask me about the trip to the Wall. As you walk along, you think back and picture the soldiers, in full armor, marching the wall. You look out over the Mountains towards Mongolia and picture the intruders that the Chinese fought off. ...
... of travel. I’m here to report that it has not. As I struggle to learn up to at least the level of language proficiency I attained a decade or so ago—not much—the obstacles to travel only increase. Cities only get bigger and more intimidating—and less inviting—while transportation hubs are ever harder to find and navigate.
And malls may be pretty much up to international standards, but the ...