Day 1, July 19th 2006 – Beijing

An interesting, if sober, first day. I left a perfume container behind on the plane, Emma lost a plastic bag of things, we lost the guide to Mongolia belonging to Kaz (our team leader) – one great big day of losing. Poor Leslie got incredibly dehydrated and sick at the airport. Even though we found a good deal on the hotel we eventually chose, as well as the journey there, the bus trip being included in the price for staying, we had some near misses with wallets.

In the end we had to return to the airport in order to find somewhere to eat where the waiters spoke English – which is where we lost the guide book – and we enjoyed probably the last hot showers we would experience for a long time. Even if the shower room was communal, and we all bathed in our swimming costumes.

Coming to terms with East Asian plumbing , which involves much squatting, was something of an adventure.

At least I am cooling down in my room, in a hotel on the outskirts of Beijing. I miss home already. I wish I were home. I wish I were cooler and less humid. I wish I had brought a better pyjama top.

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