Beijing – what a great wall! Thursday 10th November 1994
Yes, that is right; I went to see the Great Wall today at Mutuan Yu. I made sure I got up early enough to have a colossal breakfast. We travelled in a tiny yellow mini van with a retractable seat, following a long motorway section, and trees lining the roads painted white about one metre above the ground. Slightly more aggressive sellers besieged me. The older ones tend to be more aggressive in style but maybe it is because they do not know any better – the more friendly approach seems to work. I took the cable car up to the wall. Flags lined the wall. I wanted to walk quite far but the way was blocked to the west. I tortured water sellers by haggling and playfully mimicked the sprint of the t-shirt sales woman as she ran to intercept me on my descent. I eventually submitted and bought a t-shirt. I walked along the well-defined stone steps and then went back. Everyone had congregated an hour before the original estimated leaving time. I had sweet and sour pork and pineapple and rice and more yoghurt, changed money and phoned home from the hotel behind this one. It felt good! I then went out to the Pink house for coffee and toffee-bananas and pancake. I talked to locals: a smiling artist who was selling his cloth paintings and a younger bloke selling fake student IDs. I chatted about economics and gave him a few ideas about what might sell which was based on my knowledge in previous countries I had visited. My bed collapsed. Two roommates enquired about going to Laos, which I know nothing about. I am writing this from my bed in a four bed dorm room while the two girls (one Chinese) are listening to the radio. Relax Marko (the author is talking to himself!). I am visiting the Summer Palace tomorrow.