Hello from Beijing!
We’ve arrived safely on the other side of the world and I have to say, the first day is always the toughest…jet lag isn’t very fun when you’re trying to listen to the guide telling us what we’ll be doing for the next few days while your brain is telling you that it’s 3am and you should be asleep!
The first day starts off with a bang, with a tour to Tien’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. Get your DVD out of the Last Emperor and you would be watching where we walked today…amazing history and architecture. They say that the father in Heaven says there are 10,000 rooms in heaven, and that is why the Emperor who had this city built, constructed it to have 9,99 rooms…just short of heaven. These places are certainly lavish and over the top. The amount of people here is staggering. They say that it’s easily 100,000 people visit the forbidden city every day. No wonder there’s never toilet paper and they always tell you to bring your own. Good advice!
Beijing has come a long way in the last 30 years. They say they are a socialistic society living with a capitalistic economy. The average worker here makes $600/month, and often they get a “dorm room” as part of their compensation since no one can afford to rent on that kind of salary. But there must be an awful lot of rich people here because they have Gucci, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Louis Vitton, and for a few minutes, I thought we were driving in NYC.
There’s a constant haze, and rarely do they get a blue sky…the result of pollution.
Lots of walking…the Emperors could have used some roller skates.