A Travellerspoint blog

Day 3

Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and much much more


View Deb and Lyns European Winter on DebandLyn's travel map.

Lyn navigates us to the underground subway, assistance is provided from the ever so friendly staff to get our tickets from the machine. Very efficient system of guiding thousands of tourists through the endless security checkpoints, bag checks, x rays and rub downs, lucky we brought our passports. I feel safe and secure as we move as a mob of thousands of people.

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We enter the famous Tiananmen Square and feel the emotion of being in a place with such a history. Then into the Forbidden City where millions of feet and hands have travelled the same path and touched the same 300 year old trees of the palace gardens and the long gone homes of many emperors and their concubines.

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We share a table in the busy cafe with a mother and her naughty boy who is chucking a tantrum as he has to wait for his noodles. His mother shoves the biggest chopstick full into his fat face that he starts to gag, oh dear this is getting ugly.

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We discover that we cannot use our credit cards and have only enough cash to buy two icy poles which apparently are insta worthy as all the tourists are taking selfies with their little monster pops. I throw my stick in the bin as Lyn uses the translator to read her good luck message on hers. My luck is now ruined.

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Exhausted and hungry we exit the Forbidden City walls to look for an ATM, we are woman-napped by three lovely English speaking Chinese women who want to be our new best friends. They are English teachers on a week of training in the big city who take this opportunity to chat to us. In true teacher style they take over and decide to take us to the bank, to lunch, trips on local buses and to the theatre to see the young famous acrobats. Email addresses exchanged we now have new friends for our next visit to the terracotta warriors as they live in Xian. Promises of dumpling making lessons and personal tour guides we have been blessed by this random exchange of cultures and seen more of Beijing than ever expected in one day.

Lyn prises herself off our new besties as she is totally spent and needs a break, we make excuses to get away as they had a whole tour of the old city and Peking duck restaurants for us to visit, they leave us at the underground with instructions to take three trains. Well, try getting a ticket and catching a train in a non English speaking country and without small change to get a ticket. We manage to get the security guard to hunt down the cashier who looked like he was packing up for the night to break down our money to smaller denominations then just follow the map. How can I possibly explain how overwhelming this exercise was and that Lyn in her calm demeanour manages to master the Chinese underground (subway not communist party).

We arrive back in the vicinity of our hotel without drama and decide all we want is a cold beer and a few hits of cards so venture back to where we know the beer is cheap. Oh bugger it let’s share a plate of chips, well never has a bigger mistake been made, they come out covered in the powdered yolks of a thousand eggs, what the fuck taste is that as I spit my disgusting chip into a napkin. This place is dead to me. Let’s find a bar that’s got happy hour serving the best gin and tonics at two for the price of one, thank you Blue Frog you did not disappoint.

Posted by DebandLyn 04:13 Archived in China

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