China Blog 2011

Ups and Downs...

Saturday, nov 5
I'm enjoying:
** Time with friends, old and new.
** Seeing Beijing sights I remembered fondly: Tianenmen Square,  Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall. 
** Our really, really nice Pullman West Wanda Hotel with fine, clean, modern baths, to dining and lobby,  and elegant comfy beds.  And similar 5* hotels everywhere so far.
**American omlets, bacon, breads, etc. for breakfast buffet.
** The friendly, inquisitive Chinese people who sneak pictures of us, and love it when we admire their beautiful babies. (I've learned to say "adorable" in Chinese.)

I'm not doing so well with 
** Moving too quickly with a tour group of 30 folks, all really nice. But it seems we are either waiting for someone or walking straight through with barely a chance for a photo or to even contemplate being in this place. For example,Forbidden City pretty much as a 2  1/2 hour beeline from south gate to north.  All I'll remember are similar, barely distinguishable buildings, plazas, and garden of rocks at the end.  (BUT I'll be back for two days on my own in Beijing, and we've slowed down now out I eastern China. 
** Endless, sad vendors begging us to buy hats, toys, umbrellas, games, mechanical-armed-crawling military men with guns, kites, whirly gigs, postcards, books, group pictures of us, flags....
** Twice-a-day " info tours" (herbal medicine, tea) that are interesting enough but then we are pressured with hard sale expectations.  (They seem to have gotten the word and we haven't had another of these.)
** Dead gray skies that threaten rain, demanding we take too many clothes and blowing out skies of any landscape photography.  BUT at least the rain is still holding off!  I'll be so excited to see a blue sky!)
** Pretty much the same food two meals a day.  We all agree that even the Americanized Chinese food is redundant, and not always to our taste.  (BUT you should see what the locals are eating in other parts of the restaurants!)

As Grandpa Triplitt would say, "all is well!"

I can't  upload any pictures but getting plenty I like!  stay tuned.