Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tanks on the streets of Beijing , The Great Wall and Fast Food Beijing style

Its been quite a week.
I'm just back from Beijing where Face book, all Blogs and the streets around my hotel were blocked. On October 1st the Communist Party of China celebrates its 60th anniversary and the Peoples Army will celebrate the occasion with the mother of all Parades. Last Sunday night was the rehearsal and all manner of security was in place not least of which was the fact I haven't been able to post to the blog.
I hate it when that happens.There were bigger guns on display but the nice young man in the uniform took a rather vehement view that snapping a picture of them wasn't a good idea.
Sunday afternoon I did a bit of a recce as my parents are coming to China in November and want to see the Great Wall of China. I've been there before but wanted to check out another section. You can see my earlier adventures here.
The drive to the wall takes about 2 white knuckle hours.
The Chinese are a scary bunch when they get behind the wheel.
The wall is an awesome sight no matter how many times you see it
Its one of the few man made structures visible from earth and was built at a time when much of the civilised world of today lived in mud huts.
Read about it here.

A friend of mine in Beijing uses a local guy as a driver and though he didn't speak any English, he got the idea that I wanted to see "something different".
First thing to note is given the state of driving in China, westerners are well advised not to enter the fray.
So, many people use a free lance guy or two as driver(s).
Nothing "big shot" about it.
As it turned out the "driver" figured I was the adventurous type and brought me to a section of the wall not frequented by tour buses. I'm not sure they don't wheel out the sign above when cars drop off lone tourists. In fact I'm not convinced the section I ended up clamouring all over is officially open to the public.
The route up to the wall started out promisingly enough.....
Oh dear.
Soon things became rather different.It was a long hard sweaty climb.
Finally it was time to climb up on the monument proper.

It was all worth the effort though I think I'll take my parents to a different staging point.
Not a tourist in sight.

I stood on a crumbling section with no one in sight and decided to climb a bit.Vertigo.
I did a rather undignified descent feet first sliding on my ass.

When I got back down there were all manner of folks (OK there were two) trying to sell me all manner of crap and faded postcards.
And home made FIREWORKS.
No that's not safe.
Good God.
Fast forward to last night.
I went to the night food market near the Grand Hyatt.
Chinese Fast Food Beijing style.
No comments necessary other than "yes, the first picture is of testicles on a stick".

That's it for tonight.
I'm off to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.
Night to all.
Stay well
Love T


Anonymous said...

I may never feel hungry again.

Carmen Leilani said...

Which of those blank on a stick did you end up eating, and can we get vid of that next time?

Anonymous said...

The food look yummy! Thanks for sharing buddy.


Anonymous said...

I'm with the first comment, eeyow. Great Great Wall stuff though.

Terry said...

I knew the night market would draw comment!
I can't describe the smells....What really freaked me out were the people going through the rubbish bins and eating the cast offs of that stuff.
The mind boggles at the strength of some digestive systems.

Anonymous said...

i think you left out the part where you woke up in a bit of a panic and sent out emails trying to find out what was going on;)

Terry said...

you're so right!
I was internet blind!
Ah well.......the truth soon came clear.
Be a good girl and keep stuff like that to yourself in the future!
big love vibe

Anonymous said...

My absolute favourite line is -
"I did a rather undignified descent feet first sliding on my ass."

Here is some Chinese wisedom for you... "All manner of folks" were trying to sell you "all manner of crap" including unsafe home made FIREWORKS because they thought 'this crazy white guy is crazy enough to climb that wall VERTIGO... Good Gods - he will be crazy enough to buy anything including unsafe home made FIREWORKS!'

(^ O ^')

All kiddings aside - Do you see other Chinese locals climbing that piece of wall? Well - you are now a proper man / gentleman having been to the Wall off the beaten path.

Granted - these are really impressive Wall pictures.

you can't make generalization about "The Chinese are a scary bunch when they get behind the wheel" unless I've driven you around Toronto!