We wanted a relaxing day so headed for Olympic Park. The subway of Beijing is great, it’s modern, clean, Air conned and easy to navigate. Most things in Beijing are written in both Chinese and English and the subway is no different. It’s a flat rate of 2yen per journey which is approx 20pence and so is very cheap. Trains come every minute or so and although Beijing is huge (it’s the size of Belgium) it doesn’t take too long to get to where you need to be. The kids were kept occupied on the subway as on the walls there are hundreds of TV’s all showing an image, as the train moves a cartoon appears. The trains are all modern and fully air conned. A seat is rare but people always stand up for the kids – Well for Abi usually.
We easily got to The Birds nest stadium which I have to say has to be seen to be believed, I really cannot see how London can better the amazing Olympic park in Beijing. I just cannot. The stadium is every bit as amazing as I expected. But that was not what really took up the day – It was Abi. She was mobbed. I had noticed on the subway people pointing and trying to touch her but nothing like this. People were coming and asking to have their photo taken with her. At one point there was a queue of 30 or more people waiting in line to get a picture with Abi. I recon she posed for over a hundred pictures that day and maybe a hundred others taken ‘on the sly’ Abi loved the attention and although Charlie was on a few he was glad to sit and rest whilst Abi simply smiled and melted the hearts of those stood with her.
Even lunch was a struggle, whilst trying to eat noodles we had crowds of people stood watching and pointing and taking photos. It was slightly uncomfortable but I appreciated that some people won’t have seen and might never again someone from the Western World. One thing I did was not ever allow Abi to have her photo taken alone; it was always posed with a child, or an adult which overwhelmingly by about 99% was with a woman. Which brings me to the point that it is so sad to see that every Chinese family I have seen has always been part of the 1 child only policy. It really is sad; Charlie and Abi have a bind which I could never compete with, a friendship not comparable to anything. To think Chinese children are denied that simple privilege is sad.
Costs of stuff are generally as follows;
Huge tub of Noodles = 2 – 5yen
Bottle of Water – 1 – 2yen
Basically Beijing is as expensive as you let it be. The kids and I could easily get by on 100yen per day and that includes subway and sights (a tenner) yet at the same time we could easily spend more. It’s a place where it is as cheap or expensive as you let it be.
Anyway, after the day was meant to be relaxing and since it was so hot (38 degrees) we headed back to the hotel for the pool and health suite.
We were in bed for 8pm. Worn out.