Beijing = 26 December 2013
26.12.2013 - 26.12.2013 2 °C
We woke up still feeling a bit disgruntled about being ‘taken for a ride’, but dressed in about four layers of warm clothing before heading outside. It was so cold we could see our breath in the air, but it was a clear day with blue skies.
We found a McDonalds and stopped for some lunch – the menu included rice dishes:
After lunch we went on walking to the National Museum, and after about 15 minutes we were about to cross a road when a rickshaw driver pulled up and offered us a ride. With the previous night in mind, we asked how much before getting in, and he held up three fingers, and said ‘three’. I said ‘three yuan?’ and he said ‘yes’ so we jumped in saying that we wanted to go to the National Museum.
The bike was extremely old and it must have been hard pedaling with our combined weight in the back but he made it look easy pulling us over cobblestones. We turned down a back street, which made me worry, but he said he was showing us ‘old Beijing’. There were beautifully painted doors and stonework that we hadn’t seen on the main streets. He showed us (using miming actions because his English wasn’t very good) where horses used to be tied up and the stones that people used to mount the horses. He also took this lovely picture of us:
However, after about ten minutes (and not taking us back to the main street, or to the Museum) he stopped the bike and got off, indicating that this was the end of the trip. Justin pulled a wad of yuan out of his pocket, and went to peel off three yuan. The driver got angry and said ‘300, 300’. I was furious and just walked off, and Justin ended up handing over the equivalent of $55 Australian dollars for a ten minute rickshaw ride!