Whatever we did afterward, it was ultimately going to pale in comparison to our earlier exertions and marvelling at the Great Wall. I thus went hunting for souvenirs.
You are expected to barter - negotiate - in China. Well, in most places. I found an amazing sports tracksuit with 'China' written on it in Mandarin for 150Y. Too much. 60Y, I say. 'No bargain' is the response. I eventually go up to 100Y. 'No bargain' is the increasingly angry reply. I tried on two later occasions with no joy. Hopefully I will find it cheap elsewhere.
Some shops sell interesting T-shirts, such as this 'ObaMao' effort. What my childish mind found funnier was Beijing's take on the 'I♥NY' t-shirt. It simply says, loud and proud...I♥BJ. I don't need to say any more. They didn't have it in my size, which devastated me, but Matt is sporting his here.
The way that many Chinese men wear t-shirts, or any clothing for the upper torso, is funny and fascinating. When it is hot - and it has been every day so far - many of them have a habit of rolling it up to form a sort of croptop. Only they don't make it into one - instead, it rests on their large bellies. We are trying to see how many sly pictures we can get of the 'belly shot'.
A total of eleven of us from the hostel went for dinner, again by the lake. The second page of the menu had...a baby turtle. Well that had to be done. As well as millions of other dishes, as usual. Including the amazing chillied greens.
Soon after, we had a turtle on the table. A whole turtle. Matt was given some gloves, and removed the head. The meat is under the shell. It's actually really good, and really tender. And didn't last long, either.
Matt and I decided to make a night of it, so headed to a bar near the hostel. Beer and shot for each round. The first shot was called called liquid cocaine. The bargirl soon joined it, and after a short while it was last orders. She suggested that we all go out, so she hopped on a guy's moped and we piled into two taxis. We never saw her again.
I started speaking to a Chinese girl in our taxi. She spoke English with a French accent, which was incredibly sexy. I spent the rest of the night chatting with her, and we didn't realise that everyone else had long left the bar. I don't go into details in these blogs, but what I will say is that, based on this experience, Chinese people seem less willing and more conservative than Westerners. So, whilst this girl was a great kisser, I was back at the hostel alone at 6.30am. Amazing 24 hours.
Love you all