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Jasont’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 27 Sep 2005

Location: Beijing, China

MapHi All,

I arrived safe & well, although jet lagged from the flight. The flight was
tough as I couldnt sleep & had a wrinkly nip trying to practice her english
on me the whole way. Things improved as soon as I got off the plane, as my
rucksack came straight out & then my driver was there with my sign as I came
out to arrivals.

Got to the hostel at 11:00 (03:00 GMT), it is a well run establishment -
clean & friendly. The hostel is part of the 'workers stadium', which is the
main stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. It is currently being used for
footaball matches & in between is sectioned off into a 7 a-side pitches for
the locals. (thinking about coming out of retirement to show'em I thing or
two!!)

The stadium grounds are massive, with shops, restuarants & hotels (including
my hostel at 7GBP anight for 2 single bedroom) around the perimiter. But the
sames to be alot going on in the area for the Olympics.

My first impression of Beijing, when I was on my way to the hostel was that
it is a very busy fast paced hectic city, which is covered by a smog (like
mist,but with NO! clouds in the sky -very strange) that you can almost cut a
knife through the polution.

I spent the afternoon in bed trying to catch up some sleep & then went out
for a recky & check out the area & do some people watching. Only to find out
that it was out numbered by about 300 million:1, as they were all more
interested by me (the strange foreigner).

I had my first meal which was a stange experiaence. I had to find a
resturant which had I high turn over of people, just to be safe from any
rewarmed food that would give you the squarts.

They gave me a menu which had no english in it what so ever (which I already
knew was going to be a problem). However, it doesnt hit home untill they
brought everything out to me. I ordered the following from pictures in a
menu - a Chicken looking dish cooked in a glazed sauce with cucumber, x2
snipper looking fish cooked in a dark looking sauce with veg, & a plate of
aspariguss looking veg .

Well when they brought it out, I was the only person sitting at a table for
4 people & the size of the plates filled the whole table. And as they put it
on the table all the waitresses came out one by one & started laughing at
me. But to make things worse everybody in the resturant started watching me
& laughing. So all a could do was try & join in the fun & plough through the
harvest with a mission to not loose face in front of the commies.

It was just like the HSBC add, when the american business man had to keep
finishing the plates of eels. But unlike the american business man, I didn't
get a standing ovation, when I believe I fully deserved one, because I
nearly finished the lot.

Anyway, im off to bed now (21:32) as im naggerd again from eating too much
(or jetlag) & Im going to get up at 03:00 to watch Arsenal.

Speak to you soon.

Love

Jason Ps, let me have ros's, nicola & michaels email address?