Friday, March 24, 2006

Planning what to do in China

We are getting closer to the trip. It's just 13 days away. We don't have any idea what we are going to do in China other than visit three cities. Ruth doesn't want to plan, she just wants to play it by ear and be surprised. She's for a serendipitous approach.

But I'm thinking that if we just breeze in and don't plan anything, maybe we will miss something really grand.

So at lunch I started reading. I found that in Beijing there are back streets with gates that if you smile politely the local people will let you tour. There are parks and lookouts to visit in and around the Forbidden City.

Then I got to wondering what the local people think about all the visiting foreign devils (yep, that's what they call us).

There was another interesting place that caught my eye. It's called Echo Wall. It's a concave concrete wall that will carry a whisper from one side to the other. Trouble is, there are often so many tourists yelling it's hard to test a whisper.

We've done most of our shopping now. I'm going carry on and Ruth is doing a check-a-bag. I've been reading all about taking and packing a single bag. A great site called has some fantastic suggestions. It describes the art of traveling light. It has a checklist you can download and illustrations on packing your single carry on bag. Very cool.

But here's the thing, I may just lay out all my junk the night before our travel and decide to go ahead and pack a roller and check the bag. Who knows?

Which reminds me very little of the stewardess that asked the guy sitting in first class if he wanted her to stow his bag in the overhead bin. To which he replied: "Nah, this time let her sit next to me."

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - Augustine (354-430)