Originally sent as an email almost seven years ago (How is it possible that so much time has passed?) The pictures have been reworked with Corel Paint Shop Pro.
Friday, January 24, 2003
After leaving my guide at the back gate and wandering on my own back to the front, I headed across the street via a pedestrian tunnel to Tiananmen Square. I stopped in the middle of the square to take a 360 degree panorama. Here I was approached by a student who wanted to practice English. This is very common here. I have been approached a few times, usually on the way to or home from work. This young man was a law student who was getting ready to take his certification test. His professor was with him and said that John (sure are a lot of Johns in the world!) was an honor student, had won a scholarship to attend law school and had won a trip to America the year before (three days in Chicago). I said I desired to see some of the older parts of Beijing. We left the Square and headed a few blocks away, down narrow streets to Dazhalan Xijie, a shopping district where most of the buildings were four and five hundred years old. We went into a shop that was proud to be the place where Mao always came to get his shoes made.
Temple of Heaven
It was dark by the time we were done at the restaurant and after exchanging phone numbers and E-mail addresses he got on a bus and I got back on the subway. We had made tentative plans to go to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs next Friday. In all I took 76 pictures and though the day was overcast and the smog was laying in, I'm sure there are probably one or two good shots. I'll get some posted soon.