Ok, sorry for the missing update yesterday.
I rented a bike again and went out to the “Temple of Heaven Park”. The park is gigantic and there isn’t that many flowers, so it was quite exhausting. Later I went to a nearby market.
The market was rubbish really. You had to bargain and the goods are all counterfeit. I had a good look at the wares and the copies were terrible. Really disappointing. So I didn’t buy anything. Downstairs there is a bit of fish market. Since my stint as a fishmonger in Helsinki, I’m always curious about fish markets. They had some strange oxtongue sized shell fish I’ve never seen before. Also quite a few turtles. I felt a little sorry for the turtles, though perhaps I’ll change my mind after a turtle soup.
Then I got crazy lost. It turned out I was on the opposite side of the map I thought I was. The locals had to tell me several times where I was on the map, because I didn’t believe it at first. After an hour I managed to find the Tienanmen square landmark and make my way back to the hostel.
My throat then and still does feel like it has a hairball tickling it. The pollution is now reaching critical mass inside my body. For the first time I was missing Seoul. Though Seoul isn’t the cleanest place on the planet, at least my apartment can be.
I joined a group of Hostel dwellers for dinner. A German guy who speaks Chinese took us to a really good restaurant. I sampled several delicious dishes, drank several beers and the bill was 20juan per person! The problem I had with Chinese meals before is that I was eating alone. You need at least 3 people to seriously enjoy Chinese dining.
Then I went out for a foot massage at a strange parlour complex. There were a millions employees there. I said “Nee How” thousands of times. A shocking thing were all the girls were very well presented. I got a serious foot massage. I was whining whilst other patrons were fast asleep. I became a little conversational and then I received complaints that I was distracting the masseurs! Scandalous.
I had a couple of thoughts yesterday. Firstly most goods are copies in China. They’re famous for making copies of garments and DVDs etcetera. Perhaps I am extra sensitive to this stuff, but when I pick up a paper, I can’t help but notice articles detailing efforts to enforce “Intellectual property”. I really don’t see this happening. I am hoping the Chinese government has the sense to work around it, despite the obvious free trade investments.
Another thought of mine are the foreigners here. Different class. You’re no joke if you’re representing your country out here in Beijing as a diplomat. And if you’re a businessman, in all likeliness you are probably making big deals here.
Today is “Workers Day”. Loads of Chinese Red Flags are flying and it’s quite a nice day for Beijing. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be any organised marches or tanks or aircraft flybys. Goddamn! Many stores are still open surprisingly. I thought I should hoard beer for today. In a few minutes, I’ll head down to Tienanmen square and see if there is anything going on.