It’s official. Rapture did occur. We are in Beijing at the beautiful, modern, Regent Hotel. 5 star by any US standard. We just went down to the breakfast buffet. The most magnificent food spread I have ever seen. Can you gain weight in heaven? Beijing food easily matches Parisian food! And this is prepaid. You can see we are really roughing it on this part of our trip. Is this glorious start so that we have good memories while crossing the Gobi or parts of Kazakhstan? I can only say, sign up with a tour with MIR corporation and Doug Grimes. You won’t go wrong.
How we got to heaven: Nope, we were’n transported on a cloud, we were in barely-business class on American airlines. Raleigh-Durham to Chicago then an additionaql 13 1/2 hours more from Chicago to Beijing. The international part was fine, but the domestic leg, which they labeled as first-class, had a choice of chicken or pasta-what I remember as standard fare in cabin class just a few years ago.
Beijing feels very foreign, which I like. Our hotel has a Bently dealership downstairs, and Ferrari, Mercedes and Rolls, just steps away. Not a typical US intercity! Our hotel is luxurious. The wall between the bedroom and bathroom one great big pane of glass, floor to ceiling, and head to toe. With full view of the free-standing bathtub . Another wall is a gigantic mirror. Is this a typical businessman’s hotel? You won’t surprise a maid here!
The city streets are clean but this morning there is a huge haze over everything and somehow I don’t think this is fog. I won’t need my hat to prevent sunburn. The hotel room has an opening window, but the inside air is transparent, so I’m not opening it. We did notice on our cab ride from the airport that most road signs are in Chinese and English. That is a relief. I only need to convince Doug that leaving Beijing on Wednesday should be at 12:20 am. Traffic was moderate and polite. I’m not quite so scared of driving here now but let’s see what today brings.
I’m trying to learn enough local customs so as not to offend. I’v learned to give and receive credit cards and business cards with two hands and a slight bow of the head accompanies this. I am very excited about today’s plan to visit The Forbidden city, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven-all within walking distance from our hotel. Photos later. Monday well be the Great Wall. And in between, more wonderful food!
Stewball is not yet out of quarantine. Are they worried about the dreaded Beetle virus?
Happy in Bejing,