30 August 2009

Bargaining & Power

After church yesterday, I rode my bike back to the hostel past
Tiananmen Square. The main road that goes past it is so wide! About
5 lanes each way with turning lanes, cycle lanes and pleeenty of space
on each side, and then when the road goes past the square, it doubles
in width!

The Square is so large! It's one of the largest in the world. I felt
the awe and power of the state of China as I rode my bike past it. I
could see the photo of Mao. Quite impressive! China is a world power
and you feel it when you're in the Square.

Rested Saturday afternoon. At night, ate a few noodles, then went
bargaining! Yes, it's lots of fun. Prices might start out at 180
yuan (about $40 Australian dollars), and I got a leather belt for 40
yuan. Then looked at a shoe shop... it's apparently leather (I'm
still not sure), but got 480 yuan shoes for 100 yuan, and then today
went back and got (apparently) 800 yuan shoes for 90 yuan! It's fun,
and funny!

Today, went to the Forbidden City, which is where the Emperor used to
live for quite a number of years. It's the centre of Beijing. And,
just opposite, is Tiananmen Square. "Tiananmen" means "Heaven Peace
Gate". Took some photos, ate some lunch and got a taxi back to the
hostel (less than $2).

Now, packed, ready to go to Olympic Park. Then, catch overnight train
to Shanghai. Monday and Tuesday there. Tuesday night, overnight
train to Hong Kong. Thursday night, flight to Thailand.

Beijing's been great! Happy Dragon Hostel is really good, friendly,
clean, safe, good atmosphere, really good staff, English speaking, and
good price (about AUD 12 per night).

Glad I could come to Beijing.

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