Back to Beijing, the city of pollution. The flight from Shanghai went all well but it was still quite late so we slept like babies back at Poachers Inn. When waking up we were informed that the previously included breakfast was not part of the 2008 prices. Which wasn’t much of a loss to be honest. We instead shopped at the local supermarket and realized that the sky was blue. Still the air had the Beijing aroma of gunpowder but it looked much better than earlier days.
We decided to do some sightseeing now when we had such a good weather. I had tried to google some information about cleaning my sensor but the best information I had was quite vague and two years old. So when we picked up some luggage that we had left at Alex fathers apartment, I asked Florence and a girl named Sara if they knew any canon locations. Some chinese googling and two phone calls later I had an address in chinese writing and a number. Sweet.
We first checked out the forbidden city which was big, really big. I guess one could say that we rushed through since we only spent two hours there though. What stood out from other similar places is that these are so young. The emperors had phono records and the dates on signs went in on the 20th century.
After visiting the Forbidden Palace we went to see Tiananmen Square as well. This is the worlds biggest public square and also gives a good position to take pictures towards the Heavenly Gate of Peace where Mao’s famous picture hangs.
We also saw the Monument to People’s Heroes which, not surprisingly, depicts patriotic characters in Chinese history. Again the feeling that this was really recent history came to my mind, and the rather tight security also reminded of the past.
While strolling around we were approached by a chinese girl in our age who was eager to train her english. She was actually traveling by her own and lived in the north-eastern parts close to Russia. She kept a good stream of compliments between inquiring sentences so we wondered if there was some hidden agenda but it seemed she was just a very talkative and friendly girl. After some chatting/listening we decided to jump in a cab to visit the canon quick service centre though and said a quick good-bye to the girl.
Languages are interesting, it was easier to explain that I wanted to clean my cmos sensor than saying Alex address in a way that Taxi drivers understand. 10 € and half an hour later my camera was as good as new, lovely. Celebration at some cheap chinese food chain where we enjoyed different dumplings and not as delicious sausages and some other meat.
This was enough work for one day but why not go to Yashow and fix a pair of jeans that needed customization and see how my suits fit? Said and done, I was perhaps a little picky but in the end it looked just fine. So I ordered two more shirts, and realizing that I would never fit this in the bags I brought with me I bought a cabin luggage as well. I paid 7 € for the the cabin luggage after some haggling and was later complimented by another peddler for my good deal (which may or might not be a truth ;))
When arriving home I saw that the jeans was magically too long anyway so I had to get back again. Finally happy with all purchases me and Ulf decided to split some noodles and a few meat-on-a-sticks for deserts. A long productive day came to an end but tomorrow I need to look into the Tibet traveling a bit more.