The Long March
Alright, so maybe it wasn't that long, but it sure felt like it. Our dogs are barkin', and Eliza even had to ice her swollen foot.
Thursday begin with a primo 360-degree view from the vacant 42nd floor of an office tower near the apartment. That's me up there, taking it all in -- this city is huge. Through the smog I spotted a couple giant bowling pins atop some big building, which I'm told is a bowling alley (go figure). Rest assured I'll conduct a thorough investigation before we leave.
Speaking of the smog, it's been pretty nasty so far -- a perpetual gray haze that the sun sort of filters through. Temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. Anyway, we then rode the subway to Tiannamen Square, where we were disappointed to find Mao's Mausoleum closed for the day -- he must've been getting an extreme makeover. Across the street we toured the Forbidden City, the massive imperial palace. Hey, there's Eliza, sitting on the central axis upon which all this was built.
All that touristy stuff was fine, but we most enjoyed strolling through the nearby hutongs -- older, smaller, denser residential alleyways that have mostly been demolished to make way for high-rises and freeways and whatnot. We had lunch in a small cafe and browsed several cool little shops. Later, after a subway ride home, we had dinner in the food court atop a local shopping mall. I washed down my yummy dumplings with Yanjing.
Just one more shopping day 'til Halloween, at least for everybody back in the USA -- here it's already All Hallow's Eve. Like, right now it's about 7 a.m. Friday, and since all of China is thirteen hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time, that means in Seattle it's now, what, 11:38 p.m. next Tuesday?
Today we're driving out to the Great Wall -- no, not the Great Wall of Kent, but the Great Wall of China!!