On arrival in Beijing we checked into our wedding suite at the Double Happiness hotel! What a delight to find every comfort and luxury in a beautiful building around a courtyard with delightful staff to help us. Then we were taken out for dinner by Jiang, Candy and Shirly (see posting from May 2018 for an introduction to Jiang and Shirly). Jiang was living in Shanghai when he stayed with us in February, but was subsequently posted by his IT company to Guangzhou, where he met Candy. Jiang now has a new job in Beijing as Assistant to the CEO of a company that hooks up Chinese tourists around the world with Chinese-speaking drivers and guides. Jiang told us that there were over a million Chinese tourists travelling abroad at any one time. And there were also plenty of Chinese students and migrant workers in the same countries needing a bit of extra cash. So he was hoping this might become a business on the scale of Uber or Tripadvisor.
Candy was in Beijing visiting Jiang while on holiday from her management job (in charge of something like marketing or HR) in Guangzhou, where she had her own apartment. Shirly, a High School English teacher, also owned her own apartment way out to the West of Bejing. Our visit coincided with Shirly’s last week of school holidays, so she volunteered to be our guide in Beijing. While Carole and Michael went off on a trip to the Great Wall, Ian and I sorted out our Chinese SIM cards and then took the subway out to visit Shirly. The subway was packed - today was the somethingth anniversary of the glorious victory of the People’s Republic over the Japanese - and most people got off at the stop for the military museum.