Friday, 5 February 2010

Venturing Out...

So, progress: Cough still evident, might have to venture to the hospital, drat, even after all the home remedies! I am causing quite a stir, getting shifty looks from the authorities, slowly they edge towards me to snag me into quarantine, agh! *cough cough*

After about an hour and a half of wandering about aimlessly, I finally spot my destination "The Old Summer Palace." In an obscure, but picturesque location, north of Beijing, lies the remains of ancient China, destroyed by invaders but renovated to the point that it is still stunning to walk about. It resembled a set from a standard modern Chinese film aka House of Flying Daggers or Hero; the scene in which everything is set in a green plain, with the water reflecting the Xiang Shan mountains, and as the sun was setting, the red hues bathed the landscape. Haha, cheesy or what!

Was a day when I armed myself as a proper tourist. I had my camera on one hand, and my bartering skills on the other as we entered the Silk Street gigantic department store, that was actually rows and rows of market stalls selling everything from knock-off designer gear, to chess boards to table cloths. It was quite frightening actually. I thought the first time I would finally hear English, I would be relieved, but I was oh so wrong...

Swarms of small Chinese people launched themselves at you, grabbing your arms and legs if possible to say 'you want Louis Vuitton bag' Or 'Here is toy for your children,' and if you say you didn't have any, the reply was prompt 'Okay for you mother then.' The key is to knock of a zero at the end of the price, usually they become disgruntled after this- all the 'you are so pretty,' and 'handsomes' go out of the window, but you walk away with a reasonable sale, haha.

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