ilona the pest

insecurity + narcissism = awesome!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

china #2: end of the trip

i'm home now, so i'll wrap this up quickly. i don't have the camera-card handy, but maybe i'll post more pictures later.

sunday we just wandered around beijing doing random things and struggling to communicate with taxi drivers by means of little cards on which the hotel concierge wrote out our destinations in chinese characters. practically no one in beijing speaks english - the opposite of japan. and i have concluded that chinese is basically impossible to speak (even to prononce the simplest phrases) without intensive langugage study - again unlike japanese. so it was a little scary to be out and about on our own, but i suppose it was a memorable adventure.

sunday night we finally had "peking duck" for dinner. it was at an appropriately seedy restaurant in a tiny back alley filled with fruit stands (at 9:00 at night!), dimly-lit storefronts, and guys selling roasted meat on skewers. in case you're like me and have no idea what peking duck is, it's just basically duck meat sliced up that you dip into a sweet "duck sauce" and put into little tortilla-like wrappers. i dubbed it the "duckrito." it was pretty yummy.

monday morning we flew from beijing back to tokyo, had a 4.5-hour layover in the tokyo narita airport, then flew 9.5 hours back to san francisco. i feel very lucky that we were able to fly business class - the seats reclined to almost completely horizontal, which was awesome. so i took some japanese sleeping pills, put on an eye mask, and slept almost the whole way home, arriving in SF monday morning. (i would have thought that would help me avoid the whole jet-lag thing, but i wasn't tired until about 2:30 last night, and i just got up now, around 2:00 p.m. on tuesday, so i guess i am still adjusting after all.)

when we got to the SF airport, only one of the three bags we'd checked had arrived. of the other two, the airline was only willing to admit that one existed. that was a fun argument. actually, we just got a call today that they received my missing suitcase today, but that means my BF's is still at large. poor thing. :( but i am glad to know that my 8 pairs of shoes and new japanese stuffed animals will be returned to me. not to mention my favorite stripey purse.


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