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I tried to get into Tiananmen Square in the middle of the big pre-Olympic celebration. The military not only had the whole square shut down, but they also had all the surrounding blocks at a standstill.
A taxi dropped me off where the police told him to drop me off – and my taxi driver did not ask questions. It was impossible for me to get over to the square. All of my cajoling and joking with the Chinese government police was absolutely not working. They neither found me charming nor amusing. It was about as useful as when I was stuck in immigration in Canada and trying to get back across the border using only my Blockbuster card as identification.
This left me in an older part of Beijing for about 5 hours trying to find my way back to my hotel or something I could recognize, since most of the car activity was shut down in the central part of the city. I went through a ton of back streets and captured many interesting things with my camera. I’ll post them in coming weeks!
This was taken around 11 PM after I took the ferry back from Kowloon to the island of Hong Kong. The big building there is the controversial IFC2 building that went against the city building codes by exceeding the visible height of the nearby mountains.
The immensity of the Great Wall is something that has to be seen to be believed. I don’t know if this shot can do it justice, but if you zoom in, you can see how this goes off into the infinite mountains of China.
One thing I have noticed from staying in hotels in Asia is that the lounges at night are always full of spunky Filipino singers. I do not know why all the singers are always from the Philippines or why they are always spunky.
Hilton, Marriott, Shangri La, Mandarin Oriental, and all the others must flood the Filipino Craigslist with adverts asking for good singers that can do dance routines, sing, and never get tired of entertaining expatriots.
Below is one of the singers from the Marriott, who I met one night between sets. One of the owners of the Hong Kong Marriott was in the lounge and he saw me in the corner drinking coffee and working on a few photos. He was a big fan of my work and soon started calling all the staff, bartenders, his friends, and eventually the singers over to my laptop. I was surrounded and they were all looking at my photos and asking all kinds of questions. Joy, in the picture here, asked me if I would meet her in Kowloon on the weekend to take a picture of her for her portfolio.