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The first day I walk so much that my feet are mush. Tiananmen Square and Sanlitun Village—the foreign quarter—will have to suffice. I’ll save the Forbidden City for another day. I can do that any half day. The Great Wall will take a little more planning… mostly waiting actually, for the bus. I blow off the tour companies and opt for the public bus, but that means the long lines familiar to Communism. Ha! That’s about the only thing left of Communism here, “Chinese characteristics” indeed! I think they mean “Chinese characters,” i.e. in name only. You can see the wall at many places, probably most of them better than the carnival atmosphere around nearby Badaling, but still I figure I should catch it while I can. I’m not sure I could back-fill the logic to myself trying to explain why I went to Beijing and missed the Great Wall. Marco Polo is still trying to explain it. So I figure it’s worth the hour-plus wait....
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