Ahhh Kunming

Back in Kunming, off to Hong Kong tomorrow. I didn’t realize how much I would actually miss this place until I accidentally told someone in Beijing I couldn’t wait to go “home” to Kunming. This week has been just a litany of stupid mistakes on my part, which, sad to say, didn’t make the trip to Beijing as enjoyable as it could have been. In any case, I’ll be taking it slow on my last day here…walk in the park, last good-byes, maybe some cafe-hopping.

A soldier next to the Chairman Mao mausoleum in Beijing called me “comrade” the other day when he stopped me from trying to walk my bike into Tiananmen square. It seems I finally fit in here =)

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Beijing bellies

Currently in Beijing, at a little youth hostel near the Sanlitun bar district. After an hour and a half long public bus ride that supposedly terminated at the “airport”, I was dropped off in a deserted parking lot about a mile away from the actual airport departure gate and, diana-like, missed my flight by about 20 minutes. It was a fantastic time. I also left a painting bought at the Forbidden City on the airport shuttle bus back into central Beijing, so am still occasionally taking some time from typing this to slam my forehead against the wall for being an idiot. like now.

Oh well. One more day in the city, one more day to explore, if I’m not too exhausted tomorrow morning. All this travel on a budget business has been such a reality check kick to the butt. Who knew towels are a luxury? And who knew how long I can actually stand in front of a store debating the pros and cons of a 2 kuai difference in price for a drink (for you dirty americans that means about 25 cents). Anyway, biking around the city has been a cool, death-defying experience. Cars and trucks barrel into swarms of pedestrians like it don’t mean a thing. There are still plenty of hutongs here still standing, and going through them is a guaranteed way to get lost for an hour or so, so I tried to stick to the wide main roads through the city.