06.11.2012 65 °F
We left Los Angeles at 12:40 AM on Monday 11/5; 12.5 hours later we landed in Beijing and it's 11/6...something about an international date line.
Beijing airport is absolutely beautiful. Clearing passport and customs was a breeze; we had time to kill before getting on the bus. Most of us headed to Starbucks were I had a cappacinno that tasted just like home. There was also a KFC and McDonalds.
I'll tell you now, this portion of my blog is being written thru the eyes & mind of someone who's had not enough sleep in the last 24 hours and is fighting a 10 hour time change.
Beijing is about what I expected and more. It looks all brand new - fantastic buildings, all very futuristic. And the traffic - it's 24 rush hour. Traffic is so bad the city government is trying to limit cars by only allowing odd and even number cars to drive on certain days.
After leaving the airport, we headed to the olympic center complex - something not on my short list but Beijiners are obviously very proud of. Our guides mentioned several times that most of the stadiums were build around the city - at their universities - so the structures continued to be used.
We have 3 guides - Bruce will be with us during our stay in China. Lin and Davy are from Beijin and are our local guides. I would say they are late 20's, early 30s. I like the way they present information and explain the history. And if ask a direct question, no matter how silly, they give an answer.
We pass by Tian’an Men Square where Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. We're to visit it tomorrow. Our guide, David, is a little defensive. He said the western press only presented one side of the story of 1989.