Wednesday, 1 August 2012

More updates for 31st July from those GG's in Biejing...

We moved hotels today. Now staying at Novotel not far from the Grand Mercure where we had been for three days. It's good here too, and still central, so we've now got a sight seeing plan using this place as the base.

Been watching highlights of the Olympics which is a very odd experience. The Chinese are doing very well and they are all behind their National team here, whatever the sport. Its nice to see, and there are little olympic flags and Union jacks everywhere, as well as huge screens playing Chinese wins over and over. People are very interested when they discover that we a re from London, and of course, they want to know what we think of the Chinese victories. We've taken to telling them that we think the Chinese are very clever and will win everything, which they love. And its probably not far from reality anyway.

But what is odd is watching the TV reports from familIar places on Chinese TV - places like Wimbledon tennis, which is not far from my house, or other places in London, but with a spin on it that enables local viewers to understand what s going on and how it all fits into the Olympic Games. We keep hearing explanations of traditions and things or people - like the Queen or James Bond, or general life in Britain, and it suddenly brings it home to you just how differently outsiders see our stuff and way of life. It surprises us every time, but it is quite cool and quite funny. Goodness knows how or where they come up with some of the stuff that they do though.
It rained all day as well which was great as we spent all day pottering and didn't feel obliged to go out and do stuff. Murky, steady rain that is still falling out of the sky, and the temperature is still 27 degrees.

And tonight we spent few hours in the spa in the hope of getting clean after months living rough like a couple of feral hobos. This place has a natural hot water spa underneath it which is apparently drawn up from from 1400 metres underground. So they dunked us in a hot tub to start with and left us there to stew for 30 minutes, before carting us off for a body scrub. And what an odd experience that was – everything off and everything minus the lower essentials were covered with some gel stuff and massaged., then showered off. Then it was a full on oil massage all over again, minus the lower essentials, and without any attention to western modesty. So we just got on with it.

They seemed quite interested in my bruises, particularly my thigh which is now a nice shade of blackish yellow. Nadine apparently fell asleep during her treatment and reckons she can't remember anything about it, which might be a good thing, and maybe they were having a laugh afterall. But both of us now feel clean, refreshed and relaxed. And they spent two hours on us each, so that perhaps indicates just how filthy we were at the start.

Definitely no pictures today though folks!