25 May 2005

So that makes Beijing Hell? No, that can't be right-

Dirk's been told that Shanghai is to Manhattan what Beijing is to D.C.

In other words, we're no longer rockstars. We're actually not often treated like we're even human, just human ATM machines.

The Forbidden City, where centuries of emporers have lived, which has been burned down and rebuilt four times, which is being polished up for the Olympics: check.

Tianenman Square, where Mao's body rests, where thousands of Chinese were killed for protesting in 1989, where the beggars scowl at you if you don't give them enough change: check.

General Mao's chicken, a KFC ripoff, where we decided against drinking beer with breakfast and regretted it all afternoon (or at least I did): check.

The Summer Palace: check.

Various and sundry gardens: check, check, check.

Today: Museum of Urbanism (or some such other architect-y title which keeps the male, or yang, half of this couple happy), Museum of Ancient Buildings (ditto), a park, the Beijing Opera for cat scratch fever yeah yeah yeah.

Tomorrow: the Great Wall. No time for the Peking Man (World Heritage Site because it's the site where archaeologists, or more likely some poor street vendors, found the skeleton of the earliest man to date), as it's faaar out of city limits.

Later: Cycling in Hutong, souvenir shopping, sleeper train back to Shanghai (henceforth called "Heaven"), where we'll catch the train to Suzhou, a canal and silk town an hour outside of Heaven.

The truth: We don't love it here.

The whole truth: We're making the most of it.

And nothing but the truth: The only nice person we've met (outside of hostel employees, who literally run to attend to us) who's been nice to us is a taxi driver who was close to tears. Stealing, lying, and swindling are the order of the day in Beijing.

I miss Heaven.

betholindo at 09:33

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