Day 2

I have awoken this morning to the BBC news awash with the terrible events in Paris. It immediately makes me think of my friend Jo who lives there. I hope you’re out of town for the weekend Jo.

Sian stayed last night and we have discovered that if you turn the lights off in the room, you get no power, so nothing has charged overnight😃 Very odd!

Off to the pearl market this morning and then this afternoon I will get a map and go off by myself as Sian is coaching P for her big competition, which is tomorrow. Apparently the prize is an all expenses paid scholarship to an English or American school. I will also try and take some pictures in the amazing food halls around here.

The atmosphere is still smoggy – air index quality today 291 – very unhealthy!

Some time later…..

So we have been to the Pearl Market and led each other astray.


Lots of shopping opportunities for electricals etc and got myself some genuine ‘Chuggs’ and some Beats. It’s shame that the shoe sizing is a bit unpredictable, so no point taking anything home for H.
Went wandering after Sian left for work and found a pet shop with cats kittens and puppies wandering around the shop floor! Also found a crab shop; I will sleep well tonight now I know where to get my crabs.  


I’m beginning to wonder if things need to be bolted down here; I asked for a teaspoon in the hotel, to make my decaf with and was told I’d need to give a £5 deposit for it! I asked the woman if she was joking and she gave me a plastic one😆

Oh, you know the 9 billion bicycles in Beijing song? Well, I suspect they are all parked outside my hotel!  

I survived my first trip on the subway with Sian and I’m pleased to say they didn’t make me put my back pack through the metal detector; I’m not really sure  what they gain by scanning bags, but not people?

I am however reassured that my fellow travellers should not be carrying either revolvers or axes.


It seems to me that when you have to change subway lines, it involves an awful lot of walking and it might even be quicker to walk to your ultimate destination, but there are no signs anywhere to give you any indication as to where to go! I asked the hotel reception for a map and they laughed at me! 

I went to Tiananmen  Square this evening; it is a huge square and I couldn’t quite imagine the atrocity that took place there. They have a flag lowering/raising thing going on twice a day, at sunrise and sunset. It was  pretty eerie because they stopped the traffic and a troop of soldiers march across the road as part of the ceremony. 


After the ceremony a random family came up to me. The man informed me that his young Son was learning English but wasn’t very enthusiastic, so could I say something English to him in order to encourage him!!! He then proceeded to take a picture of me and said Child! Weird or what!!

I was very glad I stopped my feed before went to the square though, because there were 2 lots of metal detectors to put your bags through – one on the subway and one to actually get onto the square.

Ended up in Starbucks today. It’s quite odd because both Costa and Starbucks are serving their Cbristmas menus in Christmas cups and are playing carols, yet they don’t celebrate Christmas here! 

There seem to be a awful lot of cake and pudding stalls in the malls – maybe because they don’t have ovens to make their own? Also lots of ice cream outlets.


It’s been quite warm during the days but at night it seems to get quite cold. They have hung these weird curtains at the doors of the malls – must be to do with the cold? Lily assures us that there is snow forecast next week – I hope not, but at least I have my genuine cashmere Burberry scarf to keep me warm now😃


They seem to like their coffee shops here, so I am sorted. I was a bit bemused to be handed his bear though! Turns out they are instead of table numbers! Personally I think it’s easier to find table number one than pink bear with blue shirt!

I think I have concluded that manners are a bit lacking here; no one smiles at you or holds doors for you and when I made space for a small child at the flag lowering do this evening, so that he could see, the whole ruddy family pushed their way in front of me!

You’ll be pleased to know that I have got the hang of crossing the main roads though. It’s a bit like a game of chicken and you just kind of have to go and hope they don’t hit you! So far so good……


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