So, New Years Eve consisted of egg n chips and a few glasses of Champagne, ready for a 5.30am start the following day. Flight was fine, with the usual screaming baby that tends to follow me onto all long haul flights. The two highlights being the man that had to be accompanied by armed police and a chaperone, which made me wish I was an owl so I could turn my head full circle to keep my little eye on him ad have a nose at him! The other highlight being the plane's inflight music channel had Vanessa Paradise's greatest hits. Greatest hits, yes........I mean come on, she's stunning and is Mrs Johnny Depp but seriously greatest hits...... and yes, Joule a taxi was on there!
Upon arrival at Peking Airport (via Frankfurt), (Minus 8 degrees)we collected our bags and managed to stand firm and smug on our taxi price of 80 yuan (about 8 quid). Our smugness was short lived though 20 minutes in to our journey as we stopped on a street that meant nothing to us and the taxi driver ranted in Chinese and seemed angery with us. My Chinese consists of "yes". "please", "thanks" and "how much" anthing more and I have no bloody idea. Some of you may remember that I downloaded an app to my phone that speaks useful phrases in a very robotic voice, so out this comes and I just keep tapping my iphone, so it keep repeating in the computer/robotic voice "where am I", this seems to anger the drive even more, so we met defeat and got out the taxi. We eventually find our hostel ( we were not as far as we first feared). So we check in and are shown to our dorm ( 8 bedded). Sally's dad had put us intouch with a Chinese friend Hulan who lives in Beijing and we had arranged to meet him for dinner later that evening. By this point, thanks to the screaming baby, the small leg space and Vanessa Paradis, I had not slept now for 24 hours so with his we set our alarm and get a few hours sleep.
Hulan and his wife meet us at our hostel at 6pm, Sally had not seen this man in 24 years and was a little unsure what he looked like but he soon recognised us. He and his wife were acouple in their 70s and very very sweet. they were a litte worried about us sharing a room with 6 other people and tried to arrange with the hostel to have us moved, but after a while they accepted that this was out choice to do this and we were happy being over crowded. Diiner was at a local restaurant and was delicious, which was a pleasent surprise as we expcted it to be abit of a shockto the chinese food we were used to at home. We had pork, chickem and beef, oh and delicious catdish. Hulan's english was fairly good but his wife spoke none but smiled alot. Hulan was very jolly too. It was a really lovely evening full of useful advice. Hulan invited us to meet his famiy the following night. We said our good byes headed back to the hostel for an early night at just after 9pm.
When we got into our dorm, we were greeted by 3 Swedish Guys with guitars, so yes as you can imagine it wasnt teh early night we had planned but it was fun and they seemed really nice and cool. They sang songs and played the guitar for us a bit like Swedish rock stars, one was strikingly handsome and yes if I had a top 40 he would be on it
I think we eventually got to sleep sometime after 2am, which was pretty good going condodering the only beverage we wererunning on was chinese tea!
and now to sleep........
Next time I will tell about the cold....so so cold. The computer is goingto kick me off no though so until next time and photos soon xxx