13 June 2005

I'm back online. Surprisingly we've had a lot of trouble finding internet cafes in Beijing. Apparently there was an internet cafe fire a couple years ago that killed 25 people...this led to the government shutting a lot of them down. We found one though and so things are all good. I'm safe and sound.

We've been doing quite a bit so I'm not sure I can really catch you up. A couple days ago we travelled from Qufu to Beijing on a night train. It was pretty sweet. We had four little bunk beds in private rooms. They were air conditioned and comfy. I had trouble sleeping but it was ten times better than the day train. I laid and enjoyed some tunes on the iPod and thanked my lucky stars that I didn't have diarrhea on the train.

The first day in Beijing we went with Lorne's friend Karen on an art tour. We went to a few trendy contemporary art museums and we also checked out a whole art community...like a neighborhood dedicated to contemporary art. It was a sweet urban experience after being in rural Qufu. Karen also took us to an amazing coffee shop owned by a foreign artist. They had coffee which is a rare thing in rural China, they had Baileys, cheesecake, brownies etc. It was awesome and people took it in.

The next day we went to see the main shopping area. It was like any big city downtown in the world. Nothing to write home about. Then we rested at the hotel all afternoon. (Sundays are usually rest days) In the evening I did my favorite thing... I sat in Starbucks, drank coffee and did some work. It was so peaceful and the coffee was to die for.

Today we were back to doing Chinese stuff. We got up early, ate breakfast and then headed out on the town. We hopped on the subway which was nice after doing so much walking and local bus transport. We checked out Tiananmen Square and the Imperial Palace. It was eerie to think that there was so much history there, good and bad. Most of the group was thinking about the 1989 slaughter of students who were staning up against communism...we stood where there was so mucgh blood shed. The palace was impressive but very repetitive. There are so many big gates and pavillions that look the same. I took a lot of video and pics so I'll have an amazing memory of this spectacular sight. Tonight we had a feast of Peking Duck...the local specialty. It was good. You get this little tortilla and you fill it with onions, HoiSin sauce and duck. Our table got stuck eating two tables worth of duck cuz the other table had all the sissies. It was good but I don't want to see a duck for a while.

I guess this is the last couple of days in a tiny nutshell. I'm missing Canadian food a lot...I can't wait to get a Dr.Pepper slurpee and enjoy some BBQ. I'm also missing the dry heat of Saskatoon. I sweat buckets as soon as we leave in the morning and it flows until the end of the day. I also really miss my wife....I love you so much Nevada and I can't wait to be back together again.

I should get going. We're hiking on the Great Wall tomorrow so I need to get some rest. I'll be back when I can....


SarahJ said...

Hey Chester
Good to hear from you as always. Glad to hear you are still having a good time. It's really cool that you got to go to Tiananmen square...I read a book about that place once. I'm a huge history fan so that would have been cool. Sounds like you have a lot planned, have a good time! See you soon.

Melissa said...

I'm glad you're able to enjoy so much. It's weird that it was almost a year ago that I was there but I saw a lot of what you will see. Enjoy!

Gloria said...

Great to hear about your journeyings! Keep embracing each day to its fullest! You are on an awesome learning experience!