China Feb 2005
After 5 weeks, I'm settling in quite nicely. I've actually been really busy lately, which is actually nice in a lot of ways. I've been eating lots of good food thanks to my coworkers... some places I'd never be able to find again, much less order anything specific off their chinese-only menus :-)
I visited the hugest bookstore ever -- 5 enormous floors full of books. My favorite sections were the ones I could "read" -- the art books and children's books :-) I'm told Beijing actually has many bookstores like this one, as large as American libraries!
When my coworker Mark was here we did some touristy things like visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City actually wasn't that impressive, as it's mostly closed for construction. I think they're restoring parts of it for the 2008 Olympics. There's a huge electronic sign in Tiananmen counting down the seconds until the olympics start :-)
Last weekend we hired a car and driver to take a drive in the countryside surrounding Beijing. We visited a Buddhist monastery and even saw a little piece of the Great Wall. It was nice to get out of the urban area for a day and see some nature.