The Wild West

Trip Start Jul 16, 2010
Trip End Dec 25, 2010

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Flag of China  ,
Sunday, July 18, 2010

3 days in Beijing:
Sat night Peking Opera - note: driver totally insane. What with the traffic and smog, Beijing seems intent on killing a great many of its inhabitants.
Sunday was Great Wall at Simatai, about 4 hours out of the city and thus less crowded than the closer Badaling section. VERY cool, except the grannies pestering you every 10 minutes to buy water (even though I was clutching a full bottle in my hand). Sadly forgot my ipod with Cartalk in the hostel - would have relieved the 8 hours of bus ride. No dinner, as I couldn't find anything close to the hostel and too tired to go searching.
Monday finally had a chance to sleep in for first time in weeks. Spent AM gluing my Birks which the homeless Chinese lounging around the front of hostel found mildly amusing. Have glued them numerous times since, I guess it's time to buy a new pair in Cologne next week. Am I naieve to think Birkenstocks will be cheaper in Germany than the US? PM worked up the energy to vist the Forbidden City (kind of a dreary day, and check out that nasty air - no wonder Chinese are always hacking on the sidewalk). Conclusion: immense but repetitive, especially if you've seen temples elsewhere. Ate Peking Duck as a kind of Cultural Culinary Exposure experiment. Not bad, not great. More staff than customers - bad sign! Or maybe just communism... most staff weren't actually doing anything.Ordered half a duck. Got half a duck, including the head - cook just whacked it in half and threw it on the plate. Niiiice!
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