Saturday, July 24, 2010

We Are in China!

We arrived in Beijing at 2:40 pm today, which was 2:40 am to our bodies and minds. We almost went into panic mode at the airport because we couldn't find our driver... we searched the crowd of signs for our name for a good 25 minutes before we finally found him! He wove us through the streets of Beijing, beeping every 2 minutes and swerving to avoid many accidents. Joel reminded me that the lines on the streets here are merely suggestions! We got very little sleep during the last 22 hours, so we completely crashed once we checked into our hotel. After our nap we ventured out to a restaurant we were told had an English menu. The tofu and pickled eggs I ordered was delivered to our table at least 20 minutes before Joel's fried pork. In the states it is customary for wait staff to deliver everyone's food at once, however, often we get limp and/or cold meals that have been sitting under a heat lamp waiting for the rest of the table's meal to be ready... I can't say our way is better! We would head to Joshua's hometown the next morning, so though we decided not to arrive earlier in the week for touring, we tried to at least do a little touring of our own of downtown. The last time we visited Beijing we toured The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Tienamen Square, and many temples and gardens of old China... quite the contrast to this modern, booming downtown area. We walked around soaking in the sights (and smells, yuck) until 11 or so, and then decided we better try to get some rest for our trip to Chongqing.

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