I forgot to mention it before we left, but we are acutally on vacation in China this week and next. So if there aren’t very many posts, you will know why. We managed to use our Chinese to find an internet bar near the hotel, so now I can let you know what we are doing.
This is called an “internet bar,” but they don’t serve any drinks. It is a room with about 70-80 computers in which we can pay for time on the computers for a very reasonable rate. Most of the people here are fairly young, and most of the guys are playing games. The guys sitting next to us are playing Starcraft. The computers are a bit old, but functional, except for a very bad keyboard. I guess it has been pounded too many times during intense gaming.
Beijing is a mixture of the new and the old. The hotel in which we are staying and some of the stores on the main streets are very modern. There is construction around us everywhere. But once you get off the main streets into the back alley ways called hutong you will find people living in small, crowded houses that have been here for a very long time.
We are going to join a tour group in a few days, but we wanted to come a few days early so that we could explore on our own and visit some friends. Yesterday we had a wonderful vist with friends and went out on a lake here in an electric boat. We gave their five year old son a chance to steer the boat, and he enjoyed going in circles. While he was driving we bumped into a few other boats, but since the boats don’t go very fast it was fine.
I’ll try to write a few more times during our trip, but it depends on our schedule and internet access.