Beijing – June 1, 2011 (Day 1)
I still find it kind of magical that you can walk out of your front door in the morning and half a day later find yourself checking in to a hotel on the other side of the earth. Yeah it’s a lot of effort, and it does weird things to your body and it aint cheap, but what a better world it would be if some Galactic decree mandated that everyone had to visit the other side of their planet to get a glance at how the other half lives.
It wasn’t a bad flight by modern day standards. It was only delayed an hour, there was very little turbulence, the in-flight entertainment system didn’t pack it in and, as far as we know, the flight crew didn’t fall asleep at any vital moments. The only slight hic-up was that Jared’s bag was “disappeared”, not lost, disappeared…gone without a trace (as are the $800 worth of microphones that he was carrying in it). Just in case you were wondering, it takes five movies to fly from Toronto to Beijing; The Kings Speech; Biutiful; The Town; Blue Valentine and The Dilemma.
After checking in to our hotel, some of us went for a stroll around the neighbourhood in search of food. We decided on the one restaurant that had an available outdoor table and a menu with pictures. After about a half a dozen or so cultural faux-pas we got our food, matched them up to the pictures and puzzled our way through them. The overall consensus was that it’s hard to complain about quality when you’re only paying $40 for food and drink for five people. Then it was back to the hotel to see if we could trick our bodies into to going to sleep for the night. Tomorrow the fun really begins….