World ARDF Tour 2001 Part 13

Bruce’s Report #13

It’s Thursday morning and I’m in the Tientian Sports Motel. It’s fine for us, even though it has some amusing quirks. We’ve elected to leave the top of the toilet cistern since that makes it easier to push down the valve which won’t reset on its own. Also, with a bit of a design flaw, the drain for the shower has been set on one of the higher points of the bathroom floor. Luckily there is a small hill between the toilet and the door where you can dry your feet 🙂 Otherwise the staff at the desk have been helpful (but they do seem to be reluctant to hire us a bike… foreigners ?).

The trip here went fairly smoothly. The 3 sets of directions Mr Han had prepared for us in Canada got us onto the correct airport bus, and directed the taxi to the Hotel once we got to the Beijing railway station. Lost one of my credit cards (yes, again, Jodi) somewhere at the airport yesterday I think. This time I was prepared and have another. Managed to get onto the “which bank” to stop it, and no furthur transactions had been recorded aginst the card since my ATM one at the airport. It’s possible in sleepy fug I even left it in the machine (surely I wouldn’t be *that* stupid!).

Beijing Railway StationWalking at Night BeijingBeijing

We went for a walk last night, along some of the main roads, and some of the unmarked alleyways in between which are full of street vendors. We ended up for dinner at a resturant we felt looked good. Ordered mainly by pointing at other peoples dishes (they all love this). Tried for some time to order rice, but since there wasn’t any nearby to point at we had to give up, even with the help of a chinese boy who spoke some English who came to our aid. Anyway, the prawn, vegetables and cashews was very good, as were the fried packages of that sweet brown stuff (seaweed ?) we’ve definitely had before. The Chinese boy joined us to practice his English. He is also visiting Beijing (staying with his uncle and Aunt who we were to meet shortly) during the long summer school holidays. His uncle and aunt work at one of the nearby Hotels. He is from Changdong which if I understood correctly is between Beijing and Shanghai somewhere. We were invited to their table and tasted some other dishes (the “sheeps meat” was excellent, but very spicy at first taste).

Afterwards bought some DVDs and CDs (and Adam accidentally ended up with a couple of VCDs which he thought were CDs). They all work out at about A$4 each, even the DVDs ! Of course, no Aussie music. Had a look at one of the VCDs on this laptop later on (no, it’s way too old and slow to play DVDs).

Getting a map, and taking our compasses we went on another walk to the North a bit later to locate a market, and a shopping centre. Pulled out a bit more money to pay for the 3 train tickets. Mr Han has offered to pick us up today for this since he has to pay for his 16 Chinese team members also. Hopefully he can also point us to an Internet Cafe or similar so I can send you these reports (and do some internet banking to move money out of the now dead credit card account!). By the way, I had bought another compass from the “Kevin”-like O shop at the German ARDF championships. It is an excellent (very good settling) Russian compass that comes at nearly half the price of an equivalent Silva. Also it suits me better for ARDF since it’s easier to read the bearings off the ring when I’m looking at it from an angle, whereas the Silva has a very high ring that tends to obsure the needle when not looked at from above. Somehow I picked up another small cough in Germany (can’t think where), and the lovely Beijing air (yeah, right) as you can imagine did wonders. It is quite hot here during the day, with that bright but diffuse sunlight you get here.
CRSA Headquarters

Anyway, enough blather for now.

Cheers from central Beijing,