Beijing reminds me of a beautiful middle aged woman, who as she prepares for the most important date of her life, decides she needs a face lift instead of just make-up. We are doing the pre-Olympic inspection tour and find that everyone here is working around the clock to put the finishing touches on Beijing in time for the Olympics. And yes, there is smog in Beijing.
Beijing is very crowded with tourists and traffic; however, we are enjoying ourselves. I am with just half the family members on the China tour (8 of us, including my Cousin Susie’s 3 sons) and we are glad that Michael does not look like any Chinese pop stars. (No giggling girls as we experienced in Korea). I was able to ride in a pedicab through the neighborhoods in the small streets, called hutongs, where cars cannot go, stood on the Great Wall, walked the length of the Forbidden City, had a Chinese food massage, attended a tea ceremony and ate Peking Duck.
Peking Duck is delicious. It is wrapped in lettuce with cucumber and onion. It might have been just a little more appealing if the duck head, complete with bill, had not been part of the presentation on the plate. Actually, the food in China has been fabulous and we are happy to be here.