Double Happiness in Beijing

Double Happiness refers to our hotel in Beijing. It is in the area of Dongsi in a narrow alley. Cars are not allowed however all bicycles and electric bikes (which you cannot hear)  move freely and quickly down the alley.

The picture above is of Tien Amain Square. Today it is a peaceful and rather bland square with some monuments and nowhere to sit. It is in front of the entrance to the famous Forbidden City which has long queues of tourists and multiple security checks.

We felt the atmosphere was tense with the security and the air heavy due in part to the constant smog haze and the humidity. We were glad to leave. It did not feel a good place. The events of 1988 do not seem to be recorded nor spoken about by tour guides.

Having met BBC correspondent Kate Adie in July at the Larmer Tree festival (seems a long time ago) where she spoke vividly about the filming of the events and how she left China this felt a contrast that was difficult to reconcile.

Noel has especially enjoyed his time in Beijing (tomorrow is our last day) with Clare less keen to be in such place with the noise in the streets and large volumes of people.

We have concluded that we are not people who like to sightsee. We prefer the interaction with people and making a connection.


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