Arrive in the orient

Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  ,
Saturday, February 21, 2009

I feel quite strange, their morning twilight feels like my jamaican evening twilight.. I arrived to my Hostel, Sitting on the city walls, when it was still dark.. and started down a dark lane where I was told it was situated, I only got a few steps when I was met by one of the friendliest and enthusiastic hostel owners I have ever met whilst on all my travels.. The guy has got the hostel running buisness down to a T.. I was greeted with a comlimentary hot jasmine tea whilst he gave me a quick summary of where we are on my complimentary map and handed a print put on how to get around to the major sites on public transport and taxi fare comparison.. Many hostels always push unnecessry taxis or tours to rake in commision, it was a fresh of breath air to get a budget orientated run down. I was shown to my 8 bed dorm which for me is a single level bed in a kind of ensuite room, so I don't feel like I've been packed in like sardines.. The room is spotless and modern and the covered courtyard has a strong ancient chinese influence.. best of both worlds. The food is great, the breakfast is excellent and I get the free WiFi from the comfort of my own bed. When I am in Beijing again I'll be staying here no doubt..

So i slept the whole first daytime.. and got up for a wander in the evening, I headed for Tianemen square and checked the entrance for the Forbidden Palace.. I've seen so many pics, clips and google map & street view images that I felt I was in familiar surroundings yet the enormous buildings flanking the enormous square heading the enormous picture of chairman Mao on the enormous red painted Tianemen gate still blew me away.. But I frozen, it was in the minus Celsius figures and I had underestimated the type if clothes to wear out.. so headed back to the hostel and lyed in bed awake most of the night.

The remaining few days in Beijing I managed to get round all of my must see sights and bought a few little bits shopping and enjoying the haggling.. Outside the birds nest stadium I was ushered into a few photos by excited Chinese tourists, I was quite flattered by a group of young men telling me I was very handsome, but sure they tell all westerners that..

I didn't get to link a childhood friend that I'd also met whilst traveling Cuba 5 years ago.. a clash of us being tired and ready didn't get us out for some Peking duck this time.. As it seems we both wander the world regularly I'm betting on a livingstone style meeting in the heart of Africa somewhere in another 5 years..
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