Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Finally made it to Beijing

September 4, 2008

I landed in Beijing around 2 pm on September 3rd. The trip involved avoiding evacuation traffic from south Louisiana while on my way to Houston, a 6:30 am flight from Houston to Newark which was 3.5 hrs long, a 1 hr change of planes in Newark, a 13 hr flight from Newark direct to Beijing and which included flying directly over the North Pole. But considering that it was a free trip using my air miles, it was a great trip.

I was very exhausted since I am unable to sleep on the plane. About 9 pm I finally gave up and went to bed. I heard several people in the dorm getting up and leaving the room and looked at my clock and it was 11:00. How could I have slept so long??? I jumped up, took a shower, changed clothes and headed down stairs. It seemed dark to be 11:30 am and it was. It seems I had only slept 2 hrs and the people in the dorm were going out drinking. This is not the last stupid thing I will do on this trip but may be the last I share. We'll see.

I got up at 7 am. Seriously this time. I went to Behai Park, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. I have lots of pictures which I will upload later tonight.

These are a few pictures of my hostel, Sitting on City Walls Courtyard House, which is in a hutong. A hutong is a small alleyway which houses many of Beijing's older residents.

Hope everyone is doing fine after Hurricane Gustav. Also, email every now and then so I will know what is going on.

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Jingshan Park and Beshai Park

September 4, 2008

10 minutes from the hostel are 2 beautiful parks, Jinghan Park and Behai Park. A couple of men in Beshai Park had very small kites which resembled in looks and size, a butterfly and a dragonfly.

Monday, February 19, 2001

Tianenman Square

September 4, 2008

After lunch I took the city bus (14 cents to most places in the area) to Tianenman Square. The square is approximately 800 acres. There were many signs touting the paraolympics which start Saturday for physically challenged athletes. There are supposed to be 4000 athletes worldwide attending. Mao's tomb closed at 12:30 but I did not plan on going anyway. Several backpackers at the hostel said it was not a big deal. I personally don't like the idea of staring at an embalmed body.

I quickly moved through the square to the entrance of the Forbidden City. Before entering I was approached by two young girls who were art students and wanted me to look at their work in the adjoining building and which was FREE. I looked at all the art which was very beautiful and they told me that they would make me a calligraphy drawing of my name and something about long life and prosperity and that it was FREE. Then they told me that the FREE calligraphy would look beautiful in a silk frame. Then I told them what I always say, " There is no room in my backpack" and quickly left without my FREE calligraphy.

Sunday, February 18, 2001