Beijing 2010 April 17

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After another interminable journey, the flight from SFO finally terminated at Beijing in mid-afternoon, a cold foggy day. The pilot said visibility was 2200 meters, but on the ground, I’d guess it was less than half that. Gene and Kent were on the same plane, and Weining met us at the airport. We were at a couple of hotels, so it took quite a while to get us distributed and checked in, following which we went out.

We had initially said we’d go shopping, but none of us travellers was up to much, so we deferred that in favor of food. Grace and Jean are already here from meetings last week, and they met us at the restaurant.

Interesting place; it turns out the best restaurant in Beijing for Peking duck is here, upstairs, but not part of Chef Dong’s operation, though they may have common ownership and management. There’s a glass wall into the kitchen where you can see the ducks partially pre-cooked, waiting to be ordered and finished up into meals. There is free wine in the waiting area to help pass the time. Pretty classy.

So we missed our chance to try the braised sea cucumber. Well, maybe next time.

We had about five courses, all of them various parts of the duck (don’t ask: we didn’t).

Although some of us were past due to fall asleep zonk by the time we had finished eating, there was nothing for it but to go for a massage. We’ll see how many bruises I have from that experience! I saw a tee-shirt once that said pain is weakness leaving the body, and I guess I shed quite a bit of weakness.

11:30 by the time we got back to the hotel, after midnight by the time I got to bed. I had set my alarm for 6AM, 40 minutes later than usual, but woke up spontaneously about 5:30, got up and took care of some things like reading the email, editing yesterday’s photos and such. Breakfast at 6:30, and at least some of us are meeting at 9 to go hiking at the Great Wall.

You know what they say: there will be lots of time to rest after you’re dead.

You know what I say: anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

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