Training for the future
The train ride was interminable, on and on, grey pollution, farms, roads, people on scooters, some mountains, a little bit of the great wall flashing by. The best part was that it was a fast train, only taking 10 hours, we have a 40 hour train ride coming up next week. 40 hours! At least that is what the lonely planet guide books says. Morag says that we hope there is a fast train now, or maybe we don't go. I hope there is a fast train, because that is where the Pandas and the Giant Buddha are. Right now i am in the lounge of the youth hostel about 15 minutes away from Tiananmen Square. The hostel is in a warren of streets, tons of little shops, and boutiques, it reminds me a bit of Yorkville in Toronto, but not quite as rich, almost though (Well, i have done a bit more walking around since and some of it is certainly as chi chi as Yorkvill, bu then you go around a corner and it is totally run down and comfortable). Today we are planning to go to see some "underground" city that Mao had built in response to the space race or something, and then a Taoist temple for a New Years celebration. Tonight at the Youth Hostel they are having a new years party, and tomorrow we are going to see Tiannamen, or maybe the great wall depending on what they suggest at the hostel.
The Youth Hostel is deceptive. On the street it is just this little two story store front, but once you are in past the little store at the font there is a restaurant/lounge, a quiet eating room and then a block long courtyard with a pretend fountain and fake grass running down the middle. the rooms are off to the sides. there are private, semi-private or dorm rooms. We are in a semi private with a bathroom and shower. It was so cold last night, the heater was making noise, but not much heat. I woke up an hour and a half ago, and came out to Skype Nicci and Jemima, since then I have been letting Morag sleep and just sitting in the Lounge. There is "Get Him to The Greek" playing on the television (last night it was "Good Morning Vietnam"), I find that a bit depressing. I am going to wake Morag up and make her eat breakfast now.