Sunday, August 21, 2016

Aug 20

Long day on busy roads. The smog and other airborne stuff plotted together to make Marian ill. 
The flowers would seem to make things pastoral, but it was still marginally stressful. 
We mostly lost the shoulder until we got further into Beijing proper. Marian and I parted ways just north of the outer city ring roads and I continued in on my own. I flatted about 5 miles after we parted, which is just as well, for I would have felt bad holding her back while I worked to repair the flat. 
When I saw this coffee shop, I didn't resist. I left the bike outside within sight and hung out drinking an iced mocha in the AC. 
Google maps, bless you. Tiananmen Square, right where it said it would be. I have gained a hugh amount of confidence riding in Beijing traffic. Basically, everyone shares everything. That includes sidewalks, bike lanes and the road. Pedestrians, scooters, cars, bikes and their relatives, all sharing everything. No one seems to get upset about cars on the sidewalk or pedestrians in the road. 99% of the time, when drivers honk (which they do liberally), they are only shouting, "I see you there. Hold your course and I'll go around you carefully". 
Back at Leo Hostel safe and sound. Fortunately, I never cancelled my whole visit reservation, so I still had a bed. I drank waaaay too much black iced tea and so got about 3 hours sleep before waking without an alarm at 4:15 to try to get into Tiananmen Square to watch the flag raising ceremony (I had decided to not get up for this when still not asleep at 1am). 

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