From Red Hook to Albany to Detroit to Beijing: I’ve made it to China in reasonably good shape and am ensconced for the night in the Sheraton Great Wall Hotel. Not a bad spot, and the check in was fast and efficient.These days, it takes a while to realize you are in China. In the airport, Thomas Cook money exchange booths alternate with Starbucks and KFC franchises as you walk smoothly through passport control and customs out into the arrivals hall. Only when you look out at the billboards and neon signs do you realize how far you have come — and how far China has come. These days, all that signage is in Chinese; earlier in its modernization a lot of the signs were in English because those were the people with money.It’s after midnight here — Beijing is twelve hours ahead of East Coast daylight savings time — and I don’t have a lot of blogging in me. More tomorrow and subsequently, I hope, as I take a look around and see more about how China has and hasn’t changed since I started visiting back in the last decade of the last century.It’s good to be here again — and all my pods, pads, phones and computers are chirping and buzzing with joy at this chance to return to the land of their birth.
Arrival in Beijing