The 'Orange Moon' otherwise known as the sun.
as an American, let me just say I find it embarrassing that some
cyclists are getting off the plane wearing masks. Very disrespectful.
being said, I now know why the people were saying Day 1 was very sunny
and yet the sky was only a very light blue and I could barely see
clouds. Day 2 was full of haze. It was technically a sunny day but the
sky was totally white with haze. It looked cloudy to me. The haze was
so thick that late in the day, you could stare straight at the sun and
it wouldn't hurt your eyes. The only way you could tell it was sunny
was that you could see the sun late in the day (although truth be told
it looked like an orange moon). Then the 'orange moon' became partially
obstructed, so you could tell it was partially behind a cloud.
Anyway, enough with the pollution crap. It's hard to breathe because it's hot and humid not because of smog.
I spent yesterday doing the traditional tourist thing of going to the
Great Wall and to the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the part of
Beijing surrounded by a moat where the emperor used to live with his
big court. The guy had like thousands of concubines in his harem and up
to 70,000 eunuchs at one point serving him. Crazy.
guess the one thing I'd say about the Great Wall is that it's freaking
steep as hell in the mountains. No way in hell could I make it to the
top of seven towers that were open to the public. I think it would be
close to an hour hike straight up in 90 degree heat with huge humidity.
No thanks. 45 minutes was enough. But the Chinese are very business
savvy. Just walk for a minutes up the Wall, and you can purchase a
sweet "Hero Card" that makes it look like you climbed to the top. Best
$8 dollars I ever spent.
Rojo Gets Some Digits, Eavesdropped, and Gets His Cash Stolen
If you want more
specifics of my day including an audio transcript of six hours of the
day, please contact the Chinese police. I read in the paper today that all taxis are equipped with microphones for eavesdropping by the police
and I took took a taxi to the Great Wall and back. I didn't know about
the recording until I got back but this is a great bonus feature for
LetsRun.com. The visitors will be able to hear Rojo unedited much like
they could during our Eugene broadcast when we left the microphone on.
night, I went out with some young Americans that I've met here. They've
got nice bars/clubs like any other big city - even a great pizza place
("The Tree" is its name). If I'd been somehow transported to the club
with my eyes closed, I would have sworn I was in a trendy DC or NY
I guess there was one difference as
compared to the states. The thieves are friendlier here. I'm not sure
if I left my wallet on the bar table when I went to the bathroom or if
I was pick-pocketed on the way there but when I got back, my wallet was
on the other side of the bar perfectly intact - except my cash was
gone. All of my cash was taken but everything else in my wallet -
receipts, license, credit card, etc. was perfectly intact. Thank
goodness. I can't afford to lose those digits!!! To get a girls number,
even if it was on her business card, is a big deal.
came back to my hotel and there was one minor annoyance. A bunch of
security guards make me walk like totally the wrong way as half the
floor is off limits. Some big wig is staying on my floor. I just found
out he's the head of Mongolia. This must be the place to be as the US
tennis team is here as well.
Leo's Manzano's Dad's Empoyers
Last night, I also met the employers of Leonel Manzano's
father. They are big time construction people and they were in charge
of building the new US Embassy that is opening up here at 8:08 am on
8/08/08. They apparently found out about Leonel and have paid for the
family's trip over here. A great gesture.
*Full Day 2 Photo Gallery Here