Friday, April 15, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 (Beijing)

A SILKY SMOOTH TRANSACTION: On the day before our fourth wedding anniversary (linen and silk suggested), we headed (for the second time) to a robust silk-product store, Yuanhou Silk. A couple of days earlier (see photo above), we had been there and got a hands-on lesson on how to stretch silk so it can be used for a bed covering. We returned with a vengeance today, buying quite a few Christmas gifts. (I won't mention exactly what we bought, for the sake of any family members who read this; we'd like them to be surprised on December 25. But, psssst, DON'T BUY A SILK COMFORTER FOR YOUR BED BETWEEN NOW AND THEN!!!!!!!) Three boxes will be on their way to Winchester, Mass. It's coming by ship. They guarantee a 40-day delivery. I thought of the famous (discontinued in the 1990s) "30-minutes or it's free" guarantee from Domino's pizza. So, is it "40-days or it's free"? Doubt it.

THE TRIP REVISITED: THANKS TO THE THREE GREAT GUIDES, AND ONE GREAT GREAT-WALL GUIDE: From top to bottom, here's Pham Ngoc MINH (Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam); PAUL Su (Xi'an, China); and LEO Chu, left, and Chou, right (Beijing and the Great Wall). They are all excellent guides and companions!

IF ANY FLIGHT WAS GOING TO BE DELAYED, IT'S GOOD IT WAS THE LAST ONE: After a trip that had some fairly tight scheduling, our good fortune ran out with the flight home. The trip home was a bit longer than we thought it would be. Our Air China flight was delayed twice, meaning we left the ground at Beijing at about 8 p.m. instead of the scheduled 3:35 p.m. Arrival time was 1:44 a.m. It made Sandy's 8 a.m. appointment a little more daunting, but, of course, she made it. It was the guy she was meeting with who was late, by 15 minutes!

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