Asia 2009 - The adventure begins!!!
Trip Start Jan 13, 2009
70Trip End May 17, 2009
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Where I stayed
Happy Dragon Hostel
Arrived after a very long one yesterday. 6 am flight to Vancouver then a 5 hour layover before my noon flight to Beijing. Mucho thanks to Val for meeting me in Vancouver and taking me for brekkie - it was even earlier for her as I forgot about the time difference! I did get to meet her new puppy who she is training for drug work - she is lovely.
Non descript full flight to Beijing - 12 hours on a very small plane - I didn't think those 263's could do that distance. the best part was it was clear and sunny the whole way and it was possible to see Alaska then Russia and then Siberia - absolutely stunning. We also could see lots of the incredible mountains of China and Tibet??? for the few hours before landing - incredible scenery and huge huge mountain peaks. Took pics - hope they show a little of the beauty.
The Beijing airport was unbelievable as was the view of the city coming in - everything seems brand new and lego like - hope to see some old stuff today. Was picked up right on time by my Hostel and after a half hour drive in was deposited here at the Happy Dragon. Most obvious thing.......It is very very very cold here. Even in my room. There is a heater but it is installed at the ceiling and I am sure the ceiling is nice and warm....the rest - not so much. I had also forgotten about Asian bathrooms....no shower stall or doors - just a tiny nizzle over the toilet (no toilet paper either) and if you shower or use the water it pours all over everything - like on a cruise, except much colder.
I wore all my clothes, touque, socks, longjohns and am loving my new down jacket/pillow combo. Still was too cold to get up and am really happy I am headed to warmer climes.
I don't feel the jet lag... yet - didn't sleep on the plane as I had to take a decongestive ( yup - went to the Vancouver airport pharmacy) cause my ears nearly exploded coming into Vancouver - serious pain - I have only had that once before in Mexico when I had a severe sinus infection. Oh well - pharmacist fixed me up but those drugs make me wired so ......no sleep........waiting for a crash in a couple of days. Ears good.
Heading out right now to find an ATM, Tainnamen Square and the metro - the City, the airport and everything is jamb packed because of New Years and freakin cold. Did I mention I was really cold?. I rather be really hot. Ok, when I am hot I will remember this. In fact last night, jacked up on my decongestives and wearing my full array of clothing - I kept praying for a hot flash - damn, if only they were programmable.
Stop worrying now - I am on Asian soil and putting my mitts and hat on and getting ready to join the throngs....and buy toilet paper...that hose thing???? Maybe nice in the summer. Winter? Just wet and cold!!!!
Tomorrow Great Wall!!!!!