The Silvester, or Repelling Napoleon
Just in case you get loose

Beijing: I hope this post looks OK, because I can't read it

Where is he gay today? BeijingBeijing is cold in more ways than one. There's something mean-spirited about the place.

In the course of my first hours in the city, I was ripped off by cab drivers three times. The hotel operator ignored me for thirty minutes on hold. A guard at the Forbidden City menaced me for taking a picture of him. Touts mercilessly hassle us to buy guide-books, designer-label rip-offs, or unspecified services of a salacious nature. Should I purchase a Mandarin phrasebook from one of these tormentors, the first two phrases I'll look up are shut up and fuck off.
Pity, really. Wherever I travel on business, I make it a point to take in the local culture. Few people have the privelege to travel to places like Beijing; it's a shame to spend my free time in the bar at some anodyne western-style hotel. But the city has proved so inhospitable that I will forgive myself for beating a hasty retreat home.

By the way, I can't check this post to see that it looks all right. The Chinese government takes a dim view of open-source websites like blogs and such. I can post, it seems, but the ISP serving my hotel will not allow me to read the result.

It's no longer the Forbidden City. But it certainly is a forbidding one.

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