Yesterday didn’t end in a drunken orgy as I first imagined. I meant to go see a “Kung Fu” display, but I ended up missing it. Instead in true backpacker style I went out for dinner with my room mate and talked and talked… travel.
Today is “Freedom Day” for South Africans. Usually the South African embassy throws a little celebration for South African expats and “special guests” (every ambassador in town). I’ve attended such events in Finland and Japan, though could I get an invite in China? I called up the embassy this morning and secured the required information. So I am looking forward to drinking some South African wine and bad mouthing the corrupt South African military attache.
I rented a bike today and cycled around the “Forbidden city” (the lonely planet route) basically. It was actually one of the best biking experiences I have ever had. Beijing had roads, entire subways devoted to bicycle traffic. It is amazing. Cars are also very much aware of cyclists, so I felt quite safe. I also cycled the “Hutongs”, the little alleyways in the city. That was really fun too. I saw some sights today.
I visited a Chinese mosque. It was really strange to see such strong cultures, Arab and Chinese mix. I used to think that the Chinese authorities gave the Muslims a hard time. The mosque was looking really good. Recently renovated I guess. There are quite a few places in town where you can get Muslim type food.
I cycled around Tienanmen square with the old diplomatic quarter was. Some familiar European style buildings there. Kinda wish I had an apartment in one of them. Spring is here and there are these floating white fluffs from the trees everywhere. Very pleasant.
I am quite tired now. I think I will take a nap. I accidentally ordered two mains for lunch. I wish I could figure out how to get a massage. Instead I’m medicating my aching ass with cheap beer.