You can imagine my excitement, after being on standby for a few days and lots of time to relax that I was itching to get on my first operational flight..somewhere, anywhere! and that place was Beijing, the capital of China! I had never been to China before, so I was stoked! It was also travelling to the same timezone as Perth, so I was very happy about that, as it would be easier to call everyone back home!
After consulting Lotte, who was off to sweltering Phuket, I scurried about packing my extensive summer wardrobe (it’s inevitable, I’m Australian, it is cold 3 months of the year in Perth!) into my suitcase for a summery oriental escape. That was until, I checked the crew portal and realised that is was MINUS 11 in Beijing! For those of my European/Northern Hemisphere friends…you’re all thinking “oh -11 degrees Celsius, how temperate! Let me take all my layers off!” Oh no! Where I am from the mercury barely skims near 2 degrees in the depths of winter! I was going to FREEZE 😀 or not quite! Luckily, when my mum came to visit in January she left me behind her big winter jacket and ski gloves, along with her huge biker boots that suit me better, anyway! (thanks mama 😉 )Good thing, because I really needed them! After a busy flight to Beijing (and thinking that the call bell button was surgically attached to the cabin’s fingers) it was time to warm up with a bowl of chicken wonton soup and a glass of Jacob’s Creek (apparently the only wine left was Australian, how typical!)
The next day I was up bright and early in order to scoff down another buffet breakfast (a funny mix of western and eastern cuisine) and off on a 1.5 hour trip to the Great Wall of China that was organised by the hotel. It was well worth the drive! We bought tickets to take a “cable car” up to the top, and to toboggan down again afterwards. I’m not really scared of heights so I was very cool, calm and collected. This was, until, we reached the cable car and it became apparent to me that the interpretation of “cable car” was very loose and it turned out to be a rickety old Chair Lift, much like the ones I used to drag my dad on to at the Perth Royal Show that went out over the cows and back. I digress. Anyway, the crew had conveniently paired off and left poor Taylor to fare the freezing ride up solo. Needless to say I took some wicked pictures and it was worth almost having to amputate my fingers due to gangrene/frostbite/trench hand (is that even a thing?!) anyway, here they are:
The wall itself was deserted, majestic, snow capped and HUGE! a gorgeous little man was selling green tea (leaves and all) and I think I gave him enough money to send his whole family to Uni he ripped me off so badly, but the tea was amazing and I drank about 8 cups. This is what made me desperately use a SQUAT TOILET (wow) a few hours later! When in Beijing…. As I was saying, the wall was huge, steep, frozen and very dangerous! One of the girls slipped down the slope, lucky she caught herself. Better her than me, I am as about as graceful as an elephant on a bicycle and would have broken my neck had I tripped on that snow! After a misguided visit to the Forbidden City, we journeyed back to the hotel to bask in warm glow of my laptop and room service. Beijing, you did not beat me! 😀