Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
34Trip End Ongoing
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Although the contrast is more stark here this presence of old and new gave Beijing a similar feel to the European cities we visited on route.
The people however are much more friendly (particularly compared to the Russians!). The girls in the hostel we stayed gave us a crash course in Mandarin and almost everyone we've asked for help with directions seems thrilled to help, although generally people speak very little English.
We've enjoyed finding our first examples of comic Chinglish (Chinese English). In our bathroom above the toilet read the sign "Be Careful Of Landslide". I wasn't sure what precautions to take to prepare for the side of a mountain coming through the wall while trying to go to the loo. Slightly more existential, a sign asking visitors not to damage the gardens of the Forbidden Palace read "A Single Act of Carelessness Leads to the Eternal Loss of Beauty". Can't argue with that.