Welcome to Beijing!

I’ve arrived safely but exhausted in Beijing—I’m simply not cut out for overnight flights. I managed to get a taxi to my hotel and was only very slightly confused out of my change. Of course with the early arrival, I had to wait several hours before I could check in—so I hit the streets of Beijing in a bit of a daze, but thoroughly enjoying the crisp autumn air after steamy Thailand.

Never one for all-nighters, I was far too stunned to explore or even attempt to pick an appropriate restaurant, let alone try to order food from pictures. So,  I hid in the back corner of the closest McDonland’s with an egg ‘n sausage McMuffin and a large coke, watching episodes of the West Wing on my computer.

Now, there’s something very few people know about me—while usually quite stoic, when I’m overtired, I tear up at the drop of a hat. United Way and Covenant House ads on the subway often make me cry when I’m in that state.

So anyway, I’m in this Beijing McDonald’s, and I’m watching the episode where the homeless veteran dies and Toby arranges for a military funeral on Christmas Eve. There I sat, in the corner, the only white girl in the place, barely able to keep her eyes open…crying uncontrollably.

Welcome to Beijing!

At first, it didn’t matter because the place was deserted. But as lunch approached, I was soon reminded that I was indeed in China—all of a sudden it was standing-room-only. So, I wandered a little and finally staggered back to my hotel to check in.

After a good long nap, I went out for supplies at the off-brand 7-11 and figured out how to access the wired internet in my room. Email seems to function just fine, and I can access my blog (obviously), but social networking sites won’t load…

So this may be the last time you hear from me for a few weeks while I experience China with Intrepid Tours.

Stay tuned for updates, if few and far between.