I was supposed to go to the great wall today. I didn’t. I woke up at 6.30am to see the sky filled with smog and rain. Instead, I did what I haven’t been able to do for about a month, I went back to bed.
It’s amazing how I had just been trucking on completely exhausted for so long and it wasn’t until I had a chance to rest that I realise how tired I’d been. My day job can be fun but it does take it out of you.
I woke up late, and took care of a few things at a nice leisurely pace. I sat down with my first coffee of the day just after noon, feeling more refreshed and relaxed than I have in a while.
It would have been great to see the wall, though probably not in the rain, but I think taking the time to rest and relax was a smarter move for me at this moment in time, especially considering I still have three days of work here left.
One of the things I did this morning was figuring out initial plans for a trip to Italy in the summer.
Earlier this week I started to think about going on a trip where I get to explore with my camera and not have to worry about anyone else’s schedule. I wanted to go somewhere I’d never been before and I wanted that place to be in Europe as I have a goal of seeing every country in Europe… and eventually the world.
I have a two-week window where I can go on the trip and the idea of just finding a beach, a hammock and some rum was very tempting. I resisted that urge though and I’ve decided to “road-trip” around Italy instead.
The basics of my plan involve flying into Milan or Turin, travelling by train, car, boat, whatever to the south of the country on one coast, then back up to Milan or Turin, depending on where I decide to fly home from, on the other coast. I have a few spots I definitely want to hit, but I’m going to design the trip to be as flexible as possible.
I’m quite excited by it and I can’t wait to turn those plans into reality this July. I’ll talk about it more when I have more details worked out.
A night out in China
Meanwhile, back in China… I went out with a friend for a wander around the city centre a couple of nights ago. I didn’t take my camera and had to settle for using my iPhone, which was probably smart but I regret not really having good photos of anything.
We visited a place called Gourmet Street which was complete madness. There were street food stalls everywhere, other little stalls selling random items, and so many people it was difficult to move.
We tried a few different foods but by the time we’d worked up the courage to go try scorpion (that were still alive on sticks prior to being cooked) we discovered the stall had closed and the entire street was closing around us. I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity to eat one before I leave.
It had gotten quite late so we made our way to the tube station and back to our hotel to discover most of our colleagues propping up the hotel bar. Joining them for a nightcap seemed to be the polite thing to do to close out a fun night.
The final stretch
I’m only here in China for a few more days. I’m working all of them but since our schedule is a lot lighter I’m hoping I’ll get to go out and see a little more of the city before I leave.
Beijing is a fun city and it’s been a good experience (apart from the smog), but I’m quite looking forward to getting home, taking a few days off and getting a little more detailed in my plans for Italy.