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21 June 2005
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KLB - Beijing (5)

Everything is going really well here. No offense to Korea, but I'm having an excellent time in Beijing. No question about my stomach anymore. I'm now adjusted! The only downside has been the weather as of late. The average temperature has been a sickly 38 degrees Celsius, or between 95 and 100 Fahrenheit, which has kept me in the house for the most part the past week. Jake said it got up to 104 degrees today. Good thing he has an excellent air conditioner.

Anyway, despite the heat I've been having a lot of fun enjoying ice cold Chinese beer (about 15 cents a bottle), shopping all over town, feasting on a variety of delicious Chinese foods, hanging around with Jake and, when unable to get out of the house, watching some of my ever quickly multiplying movie collection. What could be more fun that this? A big Chinese temple? Maybe, but I don't think so. I haven't been to a single tourist trap so far. Jake says they're all a waste of money, as to be expected. I fell for that crap in Thailand. I guess maybe I should go hike the Great Wall, but not in this weather!

I think I could live here quite awhile, if I didn't have other plans, that is. China is huge and there is so much to do! It would be nice to go travel - especially in the cooler weather and preferably with someone who can speak Chinese or after picking up the basics myself, which I am doing already. I can safely say that Korean is the hardest language on earth to pronounce. I always thought I was just bad at languages, but that's not it. It seems so much easier to hear and speak Japanese, as I've been studying, and now Chinese. I picked up a lot already. I swear if I studied for a few weeks my Chinese would surpass my Korean, kapoa xing zao! just like that. I've been having mini conversations already. I guess it also helps that you pretty much have to speak Chinese here or you simply can't get by.

Well, I don't want to waste too much time in front of the computer, but here are a couple of teaser pictures to hold you over.

This is me about to eat some kind of spicy crayfish, shell and all! To hell with cracking and digging out the meat!

And this is one of the best Chinese dishes I've had. It's authentic Kung Pao chicken and it's delicious. The price? Less than a dollar. We've been eating here a lot, trying a bunch of different dishes, drinking a beer or two, never leaving with a bill over $5 total. I love China!


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