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Ochlophobia. The fear of crowds. Do I have it? It's tempting to say yes but, just a week in China, and maybe just a day in Beijing and I think my dislike for crowds is better described as a fear FOR them rather than OF them. They make me want to lash out and it might not be pretty so better to avoid them. A crowd is the best evidence that there are so many people on the planet that the value of an individual is insignificant to a stranger. A rough, calculation ...
... More restrictions again. You can only ever buy 2 condos per family. Very controlled over here. Arrived at Great Wall in the afternoon, weather still quite cool with a brisk icy breeze blowing. I can't believe how steep the steps are, and how high they are to step up.. It's actually quite a difficult climb. Built over 3000 years ago, what a amazing piece of construction. Bob made it as far as chicken rock.....I progressed up to the first tower, ...
... we discovered we had to purchase a ticket to go further. Since our first day of our scheduled Beijing tour included both, we decided to just leave and return with our group tomorrow. Alas, all pedestrian traffic was one way. We seemed doomed to proceed back through the entrance gate to the inner Forbidden City but wasn’t sure where to purchase tickets. We caught a glimpse of pedestrian traffic heading west and discovered it went to a park next door. ...
... seen anything other than a thick greyness.
-Being instantly identified as a foreigner. Sometimes I'd like to blend in a bit more!
-Beijing is huge! What looks like a short stroll on the map takes in toll on the old feet.
-The presence of Christmas music/trees/decorations. There's been 2 New Years since Christmas guys, please let's get on with the rest of the year!
... There were so many stairs, both tiny ones and very steep ones (almost as tall me).
Catherine came a little bit of the way with us and told us all about the wall's purpose in terms of keeping the Mongolians out and the reasons it was built in a certain way (I.e. it's not straight so that the watch towers are all visible to each other so they could see when anyone was waving the flag to alert of approaching Mongolians).
The varying height steps also had a purpose ...