Thursday, January 13, 2011
Great Wall 2011!!!!!!
I filled an entire card with the day's activities. The Wall at this point is about a mile of restored wall. It is a wonder of labor! Built without cranes, helicopters or bulldozers. Walking along it is a task since it follows every incline of ever hill. It is majestic, sitting, as it does, in impossible surroundings. We were fortunate since we were among very few visiting today. With the breeze, some might call it wind, but we spent our college years in Ellensburg and know what WIND is, whistling through the guard towers, one could imagine it being a very lonely and cold task.
And, as I was telling Cora: Smog is bad for the lungs, but awesome for photos!
We left the Wall to go get lunch. Our driver showed considerable skill in ignoring signs, pedestrians, and lines on the road. Apparently, lines are more of a suggestion. I don't know how many times we were travelling down the road...ON the centerline. I mean, I am what I like to call a creative driver, but this guy had me thinking about rewriting my list of greatest fears; moving seeing my parents naked off the top of my list and replacing that with driving in China. He passed a bus with his mirror scant millimeters away from brushing it. A car was taking a left turn and instead of stopping to avoid a collision, steered a mite wider, got in the other drivers way, laid on his horn, and glared at the other driver. He seemed to think of his turn signal only on rare occasions and, then, as an after thought. He was in the midst of passing a couple trucks in fourth gear (you know, that lugging sound an engine makes when you are in too high a gear? Yeah, that one) and we were passing at the rate a lazy cat walks, and a bus, full sized and full of speed came around the corner...it was also ignoring the centerline. Both drivers snapped their vehicles in the correct lane, apparently ignorant of their passenger's sphincter fluctuations.
We had only had a small amount of drink and water since the night before, and I think i was a little dehydrated. The effort on the Great Wall, plus avoiding hawkers (hockers? or is it halkers?) and the slight dehydration plus a couple other issues combined to put me into a rare state of becoming carsick. Our driver apparently thought a scenic drive in the country involved going very fast around corners. I was a little leery when we got to lunch, but lots of Jasmine tea and a little food soon put me back to normal.
we had an "Authentic" Chinese lunch. Which happened to be in a restaurant over a Jade working place. Beautiful pieces of Jade were all over. For sale of course. But, we were fascinated by the workmanship and the beauty. I took pictures...Cora then pointed out no one else had cameras...Ooops.
We began our trek back, through rush hour traffic. We finally got to see Beijing in daylight. We are back, and Cora has a story to tell, too!