Beijing is a city of old meets new and any combination of the two. A broom made of twigs cleans the city sidewalks, while the sweeper is talking on a cell phone. The Chinese "old" way is to touch, shove and shout if you are in the way. No intentions of being rude, it's just easier for the cutest, tiniest 85 year old grandmother in the super market to yell at us in Chinese to get out of the way when we were grabbing a diet coke, followed up with a very clearly spoken English "I'm sorry, excuse me" from what appeared to be her grandson. And the bathrooms are also rated in a star system. We've been told 4 and 5 star are western style, complete with tissue. 3 star is still western style, somewhat questionable. 2 star is the squatty potty, given with a warning of use at your own risk and the 1 star is go in, hold your nose, don't breath or look squatty potty.
Our guide Sherry is hilarious and wonderful. Explaining to us that she lives with her husband and mother-in-law, but they would like to be a double income, no kids couple. She speaks to her mother every day on the phone and wears a jade bracelet that was once worn by her great grandmother, grandmother and mother. She also sports a mean Louis Vuitton bag and Armani sunglasses. Old and new...
This city is amazingly huge. There are over 100 universities, 3,500 middle schools, 5 million cars and it will have rush hour traffic for 10 hours a day. It can take 3 hours to go across the city. Our bus driver, Louie, is our driver for the weekend and he also owns a hospital. Most people will have a full time job and one or two other jobs on the side. Any concept of personal space is non existent. In fact, the government has hired "pushers" for the subway system. This persons job is is to literally push the people onto the subway car so the doors will close.
We've experienced Tiananman Square, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace and tomorrow will be The Great Wall, an acrobat show, and packing! I am getting closer to Marlo. It is the next day I will fly to Nanchang to hold her for the first time!