Bright Lights Big City Little People
Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
123Trip End Ongoing
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Our Beijing ride has gone quickly and lazily. Exactly how we wanted it. Long lie inns (separate!!) hot water when required, clothes washed, beers drunk, sights seen and importantly Bruce Campbell met.......
On our first full day in the city we blew out the long train cobwebs with a long walk round Beijing. Starting with fight through the crowds on the impressive tiananmen square. Mao slightly smirking looking at everyone who passes from the gates of the Forbidden City. Three hours of walking later having taken in the lovely sight of the white pagoda and the carnage of the main shopping street. Something began to dawn on us, something we knew would happen but had forgotten....... The staring.
The sight of Me and Mike walking passed would stir various emotion. An amused glimpse, A hard stare, Children pointing, children laughing, children crying, Requests for photo's and down right jaw dropped fear. Now none of this is at all a bad. It leads to great memories and stuttering coversations of waves, nods and grunts with people you will never meet again and couldn't be the opposite to yourself. Also I would be kidding myself to think it is just us pair who raise a smile but I do feel that the sight of a thickly bearded long ginger haired 6:5 man does achieve some higher eye brows than others.
Anyway the days steamed through thick and fast generally ending back in the hostel bar with beer and a deck of cards with Bruce Campbell, Annika and a ensemble consisting of dutch, Guus & Ike, Australian lovely Kate, Dino and the not so lovely Steve-o, Irish Allen & Fergal, and the lovely staff of the hostel.
The exceptions being a great meal at the very famous Beijing Duck restaurant
Mike also had a night out at the kung fu.
Our days, lazy walks round, a trip to the great wall (next entry) and a trip to the much built up and hyped Forbidden City. For myself, Bruce Campbell and Mike we would have preferred it if it had stayed forbidden, though Bruce Campbell a little more passionately. We tried hard to like it and find it charming. But with the olympics only 2 years away, and like a lot of Beijing, it was covered in Scaffolding, hot irritated tourist and really didn't bring much to the table. Admittedly that is hugely pretentious seeing as I come from Nottingham, hardly visual Shangri la! Also you queue and pay a ticket to get in. Then once you are in you have to pay again for entry to other places. Picky maybe and call me an old traditionalist if you may, but I'd happily pay more on the door and be able to see the whole show.
In conclusion I've enjoyed Beijing immensely. Its been everything we wanted it to be but now we are 'ready to rumble' onwards.
Until next we meet.