In the absence of my mobile working (despite Telstra’s assurances that it was international roaming!), this blog will be the main way I record the Beijing adventure. Apologies to anyone who is looking for Pilbara images.
Must make a comment about customs. I was a bit worried about all the supplements I carry as far as customs. The entire procedure to get into the country was
1. go through a temperature scanner (I guess this is to detect fevers associated with swine flu, bird flu, etc). I was rugged up ready for the outside temp (and fighting a sinus infection) and was boiling hot when I went through the scanner but it didn’t go off.
2. passport control. The lines were really short when we went through and only waited a few minutes. The officer didn’t talk to me or do anything unusual.
3. Train to baggage collection
4. Collect bags
5. Head through the declaration area. There is a red and green channel as per normal. No forms to fill out though so you don’t actually declare anything in writing – bit strange. It looked like the red channel was physically closed and everyone was just walking through the green channel. There actually wasn’t anywhere to go through your bags so I think the idea of declaration and bag search is not actually put into practise!!
The pollution is much less today. I have been out of the hotel and gone for walk and was still able to breathe. It’s subzero overnight and around 2 degrees C right now. I’m sure this is obvious to everyone but from a photography point of view, there really is no colour. I am in the middle of the university district. The uni that I am working at has over 40,000 students on campus. Lots of concrete everywhere!! Ironically, it’s very clear and crisp this morning, making the photo ops quite high contrast. Here is the hotel.
There is a small park behind the hotel. All of the trees are painted white at the bottom. I’m really not sure why! It also has concrete statues of bugs (snails, crickets, etc) – interesting. And of course all the trees have no leaves. As someone from gum country, it’s a refreshing change.