Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beijing (Wed)

I had one of the last two talks of the conference today (there were two such talks due to parallel sessions). Normally, there are not that many folks left at this point because a lot of people only attend one or two days of the conference, or have flights on the last day and have to head out early. I actually had good attendance at my talk, largely due to the fact that people were hanging around for the trip to the great wall...

I had not been to this section of the Great Wall (I forget the name, but it was about a 90-minute bus ride from the Hotel). Had to hike up a bunch of stairs just to get to the wall (or take a gondola, but that's no fun!). This was similar to parts of the Incan Trail, but you don't have to do it at altitude which makes it a *lot* easier.

Old worn-out ramp.

It was cloudy/foggy that day, so the pictures aren't as nice as they could have been. I ran up this stretch in one go and was seriously wheezing by the time I got to the top.

End of this section of the wall.

Donkey at the side of the wall (I'm on the wall looking down). We assumed that this belonged to one of the ladies selling water and other souvenirs/trinkets.

For dinner, we had a huge group head out to a Szechaun restaurant. We had three full tables worth of people crammed into a little private side room.

The restaurant.

Suan Mei/ Cha/ (sour plum drink).

Fatty pork (was very popular, so we ended up ordering a second one).

Duck gizzards.

Pickled veggies.

Gelatinized tendon.

Bai/ jio~ (Chinese rice wine... 52% alcohol/104 proof). Strong stuff.

Prawns in Chinese glass noodles (fen~ si).

Ko~ shui~ ji (literally, drool chicken... in that it's so good just seeing it will make you drool. Probably a bit of an exaggeration).

Catfish in oil. The Szechaun peppercorns are supposed to make your lips numb, but this was very weak. Somewhat disappointing.

Spicy diced chicken and peanuts.

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