Posted by: gochet | May 1, 2006

A couple more days of weirdness, and an unexpected carnival!

Again, it’s taken me a couple days to post, but I have a very good excuse. Actually, I have a couple of them. Let me explain.

As last I wrote, Friday was a great big day, and the plan for Saturday was to rest all day, and then go out to this wonderful looking outdoor food market near Tianenmen Square at about dinner time for some fabulous and interesting foods. According to my family, the food was, in fact, wonderful and interesting. I, however, wouldn’t know anything about it. My idea of a day of rest, it seems, is to stop into a local bar at about noon on Saturday, and proceed to get drunk with the owner and his friends until nearly 11PM that evening. Honestly, I have no idea what came over me. ๐Ÿ™‚

The last thing I remember about Saturday night is trying desperately to remain standing in an upright position in the Hard Rock Cafe (with my eyes crossed, I’m sure) while digging through my wallet in a feeble and unsuccessful attempt to locate some more drinking money. I’m not even sure how I got home, but I know that when I got there, no one was particularly impressed. I haven’t even been back to Dave’s bar to ask him any questions.

Then came Sunday morning. Evil, evil, horrible, head-pounding Sunday morning. Where my family wakes me at 8AM to go have breakfast with Uncle Swede’s company, and then spend the day shopping. Throughout the first half of this nightmare, I was just quietly contemplating different methods to take my own life, but later in the day (after about 13 bottles of water), I actually got to have a little fun, and I spent a whole pile of money on gifts for friends and my sweet Babycakes, whose birthday was on Sunday. Don’t worry, Sharon, I found you some goodies that I think you’ll like. ๐Ÿ™‚

After a nice Chinese Sunday evening dinner and stroll, I was wiped out and pretty much went right to bed. Which brings us to today.

I didn’t really have any plans today, as my Mom and Aunt were going out to do those things that 60 year old women do. So I decided to just take a nice walk down to a park that’s in the area, and look at some trees or something. Maybe take a photo or two, you know. And that started out pretty well. The park is nice (and big. Really big), with fountains and bridges and paths and music and…. Wait. Music?

Sure enough, off in the distance I can hear loudspeakers blaring some sort of music. So I slowly meander off in that direction. As I approach the music, I look up in the sky just above the treeline and spot one of those big carnival rides that takes you way up in the air for a minute, then brings you back down. And as I get closer, I see more carnival rides! And food stands! And stages with performers! And food stands! And children, lots and lots of children!

It seems that I had inadvertently stumbled onto the 3rd annual Beijing Pop Festival completely by accident. So today, I’ve had a pretty cool day of seeing little kids ride carnival rides, eating way too much Chinese carnival food, eating even more ice cream, watching people rent boats that they don’t know how to steer (this was funny as hell, by the way), and listening to various bands and musical performers on the dozen or so stands that were scattered around the park. All in all, it’s been a neat afternoon, and I learned two important lessons today, which I will share with you right now…

1. You never know what you’re going to find around the next corner in Beijing, so always carry your camera.

2. Out of a population of 16 million people, I am the only person here who wears shorts. Ever.

No kidding. I thought maybe people were cold-blooded, but today is like 88 degrees. I don’t think I’m breaking a law by wearing shorts, but I’m definitely breaking some sort of social/moral code. And if you don’t believe me, check out my photos here. And just try to find someone wearing shorts.

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