Day 7 – Sun and Conspiration

Sunday! I would prefer to not interrupt the treatment but since only my breakfast of IVs and the Anti-G suite for dwarfs’ legs we would have to spend our day doing nothing in the room… Shame… I somehow expected that so already Thursday I attacked to Doctor to ask the permission to leave the premises of the hospital to wander a bit further to thr center of Beijing. She said yes without much hesitation but warned me not to catch cold, be careful yak and yak yoddi yoddi…

Kathy and Mikalina become good  friends – there is only few years difference – and we included her in our conspiration against the gang of nurses in the mirador dominating the entrance of the ward armed to the teeth with thermometers, blood pressure gauges, syringes and clysters of all sorts and sizes…
Kathy, then, ordered the van for us with the idea of viewing as much as we could without running starting by the Summer Palace, then the TiananMen Square and if possible a bit of the forbidden city.
We almost did all…

The Van/Bus could take 8 persons plus the wheelchair so we invited the caregiver to join us but… “Too hot too far too dangerous too…” so rather than giving him the piece of mind that was ready for him I just let him do whatever he see fits his personality and he said he’ll wait for us in the room 😀 Ok; never mind…

Mikalina had set a good plan; it would have succeed. Few things we did not know. 1) the driver knew how to get to the Summer Palace but obviously did not know that it was not wheelchair accessible… We had to walk to another entrance at about 10′ from there.  he dropped us at 11:15 and would pick us at the same place at 13:30. It means we have already 30′ lost because of that and the queues of peoples at both ticketing booths. I was obliged to stay in the sun as there wasn’t a half square meter of shadow in sight; except on the terrasse which is – you guess – not accessible by wheelchairs.

Finally tickets in hands we visited the Summer Palace and I will make a separate post about it. Fantastic, grandissime, huge as in “very huge” and beautiful. I really wonder sometimes about that… We were told one needs 6 hours to see the whole Palace but I honestly believe no one can make it all in less than 2 full days…
At 13:30 Mr.Gao waited us and we get back in the bus thanking the Benz company to have provided this model with air conditioner…
To Tiennanmen Square!

As I trusted the Girls for the itinerary I haven’t checked the map but in fact the farer point from PuHa Hospital Tiantan (South) is the Summer Palace (North-West). And Summer Palace to Tiannanmen Square is 75% back to the start but by the Center-East. My first Beijing traffic jam in Beijing… When a 6 ways’ lane bottle neck in two-lanes exit which open on a 4 ways lane which bottle-neck to an exit of 1 car… And; of course, the sempiternal and planted by all traffic bureau of the world I have seen: the traffic light!

Our very smooth and skillful driver dropped us in a kind of adjacent lane/parking because no car is allowed around the Tiennanmen Square. There the toughest part (for Mikaina) started as she was decided to find an underground passage to the Square but whether there are none or we could not find one… Booths of whatever and bystanders seems to not know that you get down the stairs with a wheelchair with great difficulties and that it often result in a trip to the closest hospital unless you are accompanied by a family of gorillas. Mikalina has shown to have their stubbornness and will but still lack the power; she trade it for a Princess-like appearance…

We were there.  We could not say we see it but cannot say we didn’t. It was 6 lanes across… Not too many cars but it is very big and very far; many buildings on the Square turn their back to the Avenue, and to us just across…
An old merchant of I-dunno-what (fake second-hand teeth maybe) told Mikalina that there was a leveled passage with a traffic light if we circle the places/lanes around the Square to the West… He still probably laughing now…

The places around; actually holds a lot of shops, souvenirs, restaurants, hotels, official buildings, museums, KFC, MacDonald; a tramway that goes nobody knows where but that is “ding ding’ ing” around all the time. Shopping alleys, Beijing Cuisine… Name it -> It is there!

As for the Forbidden City it is even more tricky. The visitors can only get through by the South door which is only accessible from an underground passage between there and the Tiannanmen Square under Chang’An road… Furthermore; only entrance is permitted there and close at about 16:00. You then have to go to the closest exit hopefully accessible by wheelchair and return back to the surrounding at least 1.5km away if you want to shop a bit souvenirs or hit a restaurant to feast on the “Beijing Duck” (or whatever suite you; all restaurants seems to have an extended menu but not all have wheelchair access).
Hahahaha the good joke… I red from the website “Wheel Chair Travel” that it was feasible to make it from Tiannamen Square to Forbidden City, but they never said which chopper land them on Tiannanmen Square 😛

After so much efforts; Mikalina was very frustrated and tired; I could see it in her tearful eyes. We have been all day in a torrid sun – Our caregiver who would have been of great help to Mikalina at least – I got a darn great sunburn – and we failed at 50 meters due to Policies restrictions. (there are leveled passages for pedestrians but they are forbidden and locked since June 1989…

It was 16:00 roughly; tanned by the sun, tired by the journey and the frustration; we decided to bury our sadness under a mountain of food and refreshments in the first good-looking-restaurant-with-an-access-to-wheelchair. Quickly done; 50 meters from where we had our brainstorm.

I am not a fan and rarely goes to “Tourists Spots” Restaurants/shops/whatever but we had no much energy left and the chosen pray to foment our vengeance was in fact pretty far from the crowd. Nevertheless; it was a middle-sized restaurant, with a sell-everything booth at the entrance and the majority of tables can agreement 6 to 8 peoples or even large round tables of 15. We chose a convenient spot on a small table of 6 (8 if you fill the ends) and asked a menu.

Everybody was very friendly; the Lady (pretty girl by the way) who attend our table took the patience to clearly explain the plates we were interested in and honestly suggesting the quantities for two persons.
Mikalina ordered the Beijing Duck as it was one of her wishes being here, along with a dish of tofu in a flat-noodles shape. I am not a bird meat fan (chicken doesn’t eat other chicken, whatever their disguise) thus I chose beef tenderloin in a spicy sauce with a large bowl of spinaches.
My audience: it was very good and the portions very generous; we honestly paid a very democratic price and our gentle hostess packed a good quantity of left over as it is custom in Asia. As we do not have the mobile SIM Card; she used her own mobile; making the number in order to contact our driver Mr.Gao to pick us on that very front of the restaurant. He probably spent his afternoon close by and slept in his truck; as can witness the arrangement of tehe back seats when we got in.

As I suspected; our way back from there took about 25 minutes only before we were in the lobby of the PuHua Hospital again.

We were in the room at about 18:30; mr.Yang our caregiver was surprised in the sofa watching TV (nothing wrong IMO) and he spent the rest of the evening cursing the “too hot day that I got a giant sunburn” and “the too long trip that Mikalina looked so tired” and that he tried to make us speak but we kept him guessing for a long while… Absents are always wrong :p

We are on a tight budget so there were no souvenirs beside the photos; I’ll make galleries later” and the official pamphlets at 75c (6RMB).

Nurses were astonished by my “ability to get red in the sun” and laugh at me – Fair enough…

 

Back for more….

2 Replies to “Day 7 – Sun and Conspiration”

  1. “Nurses were astonished by my “ability to get red in the sun” and laugh at me – Fair enough…”

    Normally it takes about 8-10 minutes boiling for Lobsters to get red!

    1. Nice to see you here Buddy; tried to pass by your place before leaving but couldn’t. Will see you when I’m back!

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