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Ken’s Diligent Service in Beijing: Day 8

Mmmm…Beijing duck! Admittedly not an expert when it comes to Chinese cuisine, I honestly didn't find it much different from what they serve on Mott Street in NYC. But it was very, very good.

Yes, we had to work Saturday. This morning's tour was a high-powered one, consisting of international diplomats and a billionaire media mogul. They arrived in a motorcade and were driven right through the north gate and into the Forbidden City, something that doesn't happen often. It was an official event with official guards who had very official-looking guns. But for being such a high-powered lot, they were all quite pleasant and seemed deeply interested in WMF's work here. Oddly, one European dignitary kept thanking me in Chinese (“xiéxie”). I think she must have just learned it and was practicing, because although I've been mistaken for many things over the years, no one's ever thought me Chinese. (As I think I mentioned before, I'm giant and pink.)

We had the rest of the day off, so I spent most of the afternoon really exploring the Forbidden City, since I only had the aforementioned sprint-through with Henry earlier in the week. Absolutely amazing! Then to round out the day, I hiked up J?ngsh?n, an artificial hill north of the Forbidden City built with the dirt excavated from the palace's moat. Although it was another smoggy Beijing day, the view was still spectacular.