The Most Peaceful Place in China…

Posted by: on Sep 17, 2006 | No Comments

Tiananmen Square. At least that’s what several locals told me. Aside from the constant incoming sorties of people peddling books, kites, watches, and Mao quote books, several people approached us with similar MOs — something I’d be warned about and have seen elsewhere in the world.
The template story basically goes like this:
We’re locals, we’re like really friendly, won’t you come somewhere with this? Once you go somewhere, you and your money usually part ways. From what I understand, you’re not at any real risk of being hurt, as long as you hand over your cash and whatever else you might have.
We got two:
1) We want to practice English with you. We’re 3 students who have an art exhibit inside a hall at Tiananmen. We have special passes, even though it’s closed right now, won’t you come look at our art exhibit?
2) We’re locals, we like American culture including McD’s and KFC. We also like beer. Won’t you come have a beer with us? (They also called me Budda, since I was sitting on the wall with my legs crossed much like Budda. I hope that’s the only reason why…)
The sad part is they look to be nice, normal people, and they might even have been… but considering I was sans a local this time, we just couldn’t take chances. 3 white guys walking around seem to look like giant dollar signs around here.
The weather here has been disgusting. I can’t figure out if the haze is weather or pollution, but my bet is on the latter, since about every single place in Beijing is a construction site.
Today we went to the Great Wall.
Tomorrow it’s back to Hong Kong.
Pictures coming up.