Mongolia – Part DeuxNov. 4, 2016, 1:50pm
Mongolia – Part Deux!
Those who saw my earlier blog – training to be a Mongolian warrior – may appreciate that travelling from ‘outer’ to ‘inner’ Mongolia (and hence onto China and its capital Beijing) is a brave, if not foolish ,trek. Well it would have been 800 years earlier….
As it was, I was heavily disguised as a western tourist and traversed the Great Wall of China with ease. So much ease in fact, we didn’t see it! It was dark as the train negotiated the border (where the wheels were changed!) after a delightful day crossing the Gobi Desert, arriving in Beijing railway station mid-morning. As you would expect, China is dramatically different when compared to Russia and Mongolia.
Security in Beijing is very tight. By that I mean VERY TIGHT. Visiting Tiananmen Square involved being frisked and x-ray machines. Police, soldiers, plain clothed security officers and cameras were everywhere!
Masquerading as western European tourists we followed the crowds (80,000 per day apparently) through the Forbidden City (which of course isn’t now ‘forbidden’). This seemed like an exercise to highlight to modern communist China, how the old Emperor’s in the gilded cages lived. Everyone walked through the Archway, previously reserved for the Emperor, as if a municipal ‘two fingers’ were saluting the ancient regime.
The good thing about being a ‘tall’ tourist (6ft 2 inches in old money), is that I had clear visibility above all the other 79,999 tourists heads!
Later, attempting to ‘blend in’ further, we visited a Chinese department store specialising in silk. However, the most interesting part of the store was the corner where all the Mao outfits were on display. Cue my purchase of a t-shirt (with ‘Rob’ in Chinese characters printed there on), a Red Army hat and a little ‘red book’ (in both Chinese and English).
I feel I am now fully equipped for the potential ‘Corbynista’ revolution, and whilst not succeeding to ‘blend in’ in Beijing, I may do in the ‘Trot’ infested waters of North London,
Oh and the ‘little Red Book’? …A complete load of b*!$?*s!