Yesterday we went to one of the many markets in Beijing. I’ve been to these types of markets before during previous trips to China. These are the markets where you can get an “Armani” suit for seventy-five bucks. Of course for the un-initiated the bargaining can be a bit nerve wracking to say the least. I find it trying. It’s an irritating game I don’t enjoy playing. It’s time consuming and frustrating for me. Mostly because I don’t like to be made to feel bad; I end up leaving feeling sure I’ve made a young girl cry because the Polo sweater I bought was 1000 Yuan, instead of 1200. Anyway it was a fun trip and the experience always counts for something.
The best part of the trip into town for me was getting a look at downtown Beijing. I’ve been to Hong Kong and Shanghai before. Both were extremely impressive, as is Beijing. I think if you’re looking for a city that looks as though it’s buildings are from an Isaac Asimov novel you can’t beat Shanghai. There was, however, one building we saw in Beijing that caught my attention. Probably the most intimidating thing I have ever seen. Looking at it I could hear the imperial march from Star Wars playing in the back of my mind. I couldn’t help but picture the emperor sitting in his throne with Darth at his side looking out and cackling; hands clutching the arms of his chair, hearing a report about the new Death Star being made. Maybe it’s the result of an over active imagination, or too much sweat and sour pork. Either way it’s a damn scary building, see below.
Business: Paddling is going well. I had a broken 750 on the program this morning, 400m on, 150m off and 200m on. For those of you who aren’t sure what this means read on there is an older post that has that info. I am happy to say it was on track despite a terrible night with about five hours sleep. Still can’t figure out what was keeping me up… for the curious, the paces I’m trying to maintain on these types of workouts is a 3:50 1000m pace. A time like that should put me up with the front of the field, though you never in our sport; we are unfortunately at the mercy of the Njord the wind god, so our race could vary by as much as twenty seconds. I was on the money this morning paddling through wash and waves and, as I said above, not feeling great. I got off the water a little down I thought I had looked terrible, but after looking at some video it looked clean and connected. So it was a good one. By the way when I say that I worry about how I “look” on the water, I generally mean I felt like I wasn’t paddling very well, not if my spandex and shirt were matching my glasses.