Well, I’m writing this to you all from Tianneman Square in Beijing – I can’t believe I am here. The
square is the largest city square in the world – it took us over an hour to walk across it! They have lit
it all up at night, and people are flying kites, speed skating, drinking coffee and admiring the various
pavilions they have set up celebrating Beijing’s nomination for the 2008 Olympics. There are fountains,
lasers and ornate gardens. Quite magnificent.

Flew into Beijing from Hong Kong yesterday and visited the summer palace. I was pretty oblivious from
exhaustion at the end of the day, and collapsed in my room after having a 24 course Peking duck banquet
thrown in Semester at Sea’s honor at this palatial restaurant/thingy….Can’t describe it – I was a
little inebriated on the wine and beer. The food was spectacular.

Today was also exhausting – we visited the Great Wall of China. It was a good hour’s hike to the wall,
battling non-stop peddlers trying to sell “I climbed the wall” t-shirts. The weather was wonderful – not
too hot in the mid 60’s, but the mountains spread out for miles and were enveloped in a sea of mist. We
climbed on the wall itself for another mile or so and then came down on, wait for it, a toboggan!! yes, can
you believe it? They have a theme park ride at the great wall that you can descend for about $5!!

Spent the evening shopping – got a red silk dress that I’ve always wanted, ate dinner, took several
frightening trips in cabs where I feared for my life, and then came to Tiannamen square with Andy, the philosophy professor!

Will write more soon