Post # 111 Beijing
Day 126 605 days to go. Distance: today 35km total 8059km.
Its 8.10pm Wednesday 4/3/2012 Beijing. Today is the last day of holidays for the local folk. Helena was telling me this morning that it’s ‘remember those who have died’ holiday. What they do is reprint copies of the old chinese money and burn it in memory of the dead. So on street corners are folk selling bundles of this old cash. I didn’t wake this morning until 9am can you believe it? How incredibly awesome is that and I feel relaxed and happy and well!!
Just in time for family arriving tomorrow night yayayayayaya 1 sleep 1 sleep 1 sleep 🙂 I’ve already got a small handful of local haunts I want to share with them plus lots more we’ll discover in our own explorations. I’m sorry I haven’t uploaded any photos as yet. That’s one on the agenda for tomorrow. Another is to apply for my Mongolian Visa nbow the Embassies will be open again.
I tried last night on the hotel computer to upload the photos but it’s too slow so it’s definitely an internet cafe jobby. We’ve had such cool and special travels today. There’s a bicycle tour in the lonely planet so that was us on this beautiful blue sky day in Beijing. We didn’t get started until lunchtime as Helena and I chatted all morning first up with coffees in bed then moved outside to brekky in the sun. She is wonderful company and one of the most interesting women I have met. She’s at the opera tonight as Beijing apparently has a new opera house and she scored the last ticket for tonight’s show in her travels yesterday. She was very excited!! Helena’s on a working holiday with the task to purchase Chinese paperback dictionaries for her students far cheaper than what they can buy from Sweden. She has left the husband home to look after the kids so she’s a big kid in a big city enjoying the time out. She’s 48 years old and was an exchange student in China back in the eighties which was very radical back then and a very different China. Anyway she’s fabulous and I hope we get to have dinner with her before she leaves in a few days.
I may have to book that in with her in the morning if she’s open to the idea. The tour with Rube took us past the orem de la orem for Beijing’s imperial sights. The ham, cheese and tomato included a route around: the forbidden city walls and moat, the imperial palace and Tian anmen square. The parks and gardens around these landmarks are hosting a bloomsday of trees waking up with buds and blossom. I found a possie under one of my favourite while blossoms and ate the rest of the baby mangoes for a late lunch. We spotted a couple of very captivating and moving handicapped street performers. One was blind playing an asian string instrument somewhat like a violin sized elongated cello. The other man had been in a terrible accident with skin burns and deformity over his face and body. He had lost the total left side of his upper torso and was singing. It moved me to tears not the tragedy but the resilience, resourcefulness and courage of this man. I sat and listened to him for ages, gave him some cash, and with my arm around his shoulder, the most sincere neehow and shea shea nee. Incredible human being !!! I could only manage a photo at a distance to remember as anything closer felt inappropriate.
It was later by the time we finished our loop and headed west towards the hotel and sunset which was beautiful. Rube and I had a great day together and shared a ‘yay us’ moment and some more tears in the middle of Tian Anmen Square to finish up. We were in time to go to the local market around the corner before they closed at 7.30 and bought a handful of stuffed steamed buns and flat bread. They lasted until I got outside as the ‘must devour while hot’ factor was no match for my ‘wait til we get back’ passing thought. There’s something very cool about asian squatting in a local alleyway, eating local food, from a local market, amongst locals doing their every day Beijing thing. A very good day spent on tour with my girl. Talk soon x
PS Rube wants a mouth for Easter 🙂