China, Part 3

Tips: 1. We found out we were visiting Beijing during a big government meeting in early March – this meant that around Tiannamen Square there were a lot of barracades. We also couldn’t get super close to the flag-raising at sunrise, and it was actually blocked by tourist buses that decided to time their pull up right during the flag raise. Be warned! 2. Sometimes we like to run when we go on vacation – in China it was easiest to do this early in the morning before foot and car traffic got crazy – plus you don’t see a lot of runners there, so be prepared for stares.

Email diary:

March 11, 2008: China diaries, Part 3

Ni hao, everyone!

I hope you are all tucked in bed having a good sleep. I thought I would write to you about our last full day in Beijing.

So being oldies, we slept in today so that our calves could recover from all of those steps yesterday- or at least that was our excuse. The first picture I have attached is me and the guard at our hotel. Can you believe that I’m bigger than this guy?? Poor fellow’s swimming in his uniform- the same cannot be said of me! We went out for some tasty morning pastries, and then braved the subway again (way less people this time!) to the main Olympic site. The second picture here is the “birdsnest” which is where the opening ceremonies will be held. 5 months to go and it’s still a major construction site. A little crazy, as is the notion of ‘safety’ around a construction site. There are people wandering all over the place, unmarked manholes with their lids beside them, ditches that aren’t marked, etc. So after exploring this area for awhile, we caught a cab to an arts district that is a huge old factory area (there are still some electronics factories there). It was a pretty cool area to check out for a few hours and it seemed like a very stereotypical communist scene with lots of workers buzzing around, really grey and drab.

That was today. We’re going to go out for some dumplings soon for dinner. Tomorrow we’re also going to try to get up early to go see the flag raising at Tiannamen Square. We fly out to Shanghai tomorrow late in the morning. I’ll email you from there again.

Later, guys!

love,

dpr

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