We eventually crossed the border into China, after having our passports checked twice, taken away, stamped and brought back, a bag search, a full train search which involved a lot of banging, and a cute sniffer dog. We crossed over to China and passports were taken away again for stamping by the much friendlier Chinese. Once we were in China, a Chinese restaurant car replaced the Russian one, so last night we went for my first real Chinese which was so nice.
I packed up all of my stuff which had spread out all over the compartment, went and played shut the box with the other foreigners and had our last sleep on the train, before arriving into Beijing at 5:45am this morning. We said our goodbyes to our train friends, and met the son of the couple who helped me find a cash machine and shared a taxi to my hostel with them. Breakfast, shower, nap and I’ve had a busy day. First I found my way on the metro to Tiananmen Square…
…which was very foggy, full of tourists and people trying to sell you photos. At least no pigeons. Then I went over to the Forbidden City where there were another million tourists, and people trying to sell very strange things..
I walked in as far as I could without paying, and walked out the other side into a street, ending up tasting some tea.
I bought the nicest fruit tea I’ve ever had, and a green tea because ‘it only 10 yuan very good price’. I carried along the street looking for a metro to take me to the market, when I saw an appropriate cafe and decided to stop for lunch.
Mmmm!! It was so good, but so spice. I was dabbing my tears the entire time, but didn’t want to stop eating. Eventually I decided it was too big I had to takeaway half, after lots of sign language. Then I found the shops…
…and some tiny streets selling souvenirs and food.
The bugs on sticks were still wriggling – so bad.
There were so many people. My feet were hurting but I decided to power on to my clothes market. It was all indoors in small shops with English speaking sellers physically dragging you into their stores. I have never bargained so hard in my life! Once you were in that shop you weren’t going to leave without buying. They kept starting off with £50-£80 which most times got slashed to about £25 once I’d said no too expensive. I would finally say no and try to leave before they’d shout after me ‘ok – 150..ok 100.’ Well I can’t refuse a beautiful ‘Jimmy Choo’ bag for £10.
Tomorrow I’m going to the Great Wall 🙂