- The Great Wall (or 'big China thing', with my shitty vocab) is amazing. The bit we went to was very light on tourists; we have a few pictures with a big-huge stretch of wall, with us all alone on it. Very cool. And motherfucking tobogganing down the motherfucker after climbing it – even cooler. (I should point out there were stairs to the thing; we didn't go all Mongolian. That would have been slightly more effing extreme).
- I finally went on the slingshot! Every Big Day Out Boyfriend and I see it, want to do it and see how expensive it is and get all surly and indignant. It was 180 rmb, $38.65 AUD. The gorgeous assistant the company made escort me places wanted to try it, as did I. Great idea trying such a dangerous fucking ride in such a safety-lax place, but you know me with peer group pressure. And, once again, it totally paid off because it was super scary fun. I screamed like a crazy white woman.
- The zoo! So many pandas, but so many big cats in what look like prison cells. While looking at a hippo, I asked a kid how to say it, and he turned to me, unbothered, uttered 'Ha Ma' and turned back. Then his parents walked up and made a big fuss about the fat Westerner who could speak Chinese. The kid just shrugged in a 'whatever, I just want to look at the hippo then go home and charge my DS' way. It was refreshing and awesome.
- Two serendipitous things were found: a phrase book given to me on the street (complimentary, for a language course) and a 'things to do' article a lovely woman shared with me on the flight (a CEO of a pretty ultruistic company, she was one of those gorgeous 40-something women who ooze power and kickarsedness) which gave me some tips on things to see, including Dashangzi, the art district (we only went briefly, it was great, but overpriced and touristy in places).
3 hours ago