*Pretend this was posted on Wednesday night, when I first drafted it, but was unable to post.
I am currently living it up in limbo in Beijing, waiting to ship out to Ulaanbaatar on Friday. We’re staying in a hotel on a uni campus by night and hitting all the tourist spots during the day while the China AYADs are in classes. There’s a bar on campus, which a few of us have been frequenting called the Bla Bla Bar, which seems much like any uni bar. In fact, I’m starting to think all universities are built off the same blue-print and filled with the same kind of people all over the world, with slight variations. There’s a universal university culture and plan.
Sunday we visited the Summer Palace; a beautiful, enormous old place built around a lake by a tyrant empress, overcrowded with tourists. I did see a girl doing model poses there instead of the usual tourist fare, including the sultry look-back, which was hilarious.
Monday we headed into town to sort out visas and do a little shopping; the former being surprisingly easier and less stressful than the latter, which is probably due to my ineptness for bargaining. I did, however, pick up a dodgy b-grade dvd called Octopus II, and plan to acquire more. In the evening we made it out to see a young acrobatic troupe, then wandered around town looking for food and booze. Speaking of booze, the beer here is good, cheap and comes in one size; huge.
Tuesday was Tiannamen Square and the Forbidden City. I have never seen a line so long in my life as the one for seeing the body of Chairman Mao. The Forbidden City is unbelievable in scale. Unfortunately my camera decided to cark it, so I have no pictures from there or the Great Wall, which was the following day (today! At the time of writing).
The Great Wall was amazing. We decided to go on the hardcore bit on a mountain, rather than the flat bit. Hard work, but I think I lived up to my genes and would’ve done my grandfather proud. Rod Fowler, who died before I was born and I’m told I bear a great resemblance to (in character as well as physique), was a medic in PNG during the war and was renowned for his walking, setting a cracking pace through the jungles. The locals dubbed him Muruk, the Pidgin word for Cassowary in honour of his walking prowess.
I’ll hopefully get some pictures off some of the others of the Wall, Tiannamen and the Forbidden City. We did a small, half-arsed re-enactment of the Mongolians invading the Chinese on the Great Wall. “Damn you Mongorians! Stop breaking down our shitty wall!”
I’m exhausted, but well. A couple of days left and we ship out to Mongolia, so my next post will probably be from there. Wish me luck.