A sleep aid and off I went into Lalaland for 8 hours. Landed in Seoul at 5.00 am – a time warp loss of 15 hours crossing the dateline. Of course we gain it back upon our return. I must say, I was delighted by the service on this airline, my first time on Asiana. Landed in Beijing right on time at 9.40, proceeded to go through a very fast moving immigration process, took the endless train to the luggage terminal, I certainly felt great relief when I saw my driver Mark with my name spelled correctly on his card! I walk outside on this beautiful clear, cool and windy day, somewhat shocked because everyone told me to bring a Respro mask for pollution. Even traffic was light next to what I’ve experience in Bangkok or even LA. My private tour guide and my driver whisked me to the Olympic village, now we walk, walk and walk for miles, he shows me the donut shaped stadium and the huge bubble pool but the wind is soo fierce that’s it’s difficult to walk. Was it worth it! Nooo. Then we proceeded to the Temple of Heaven.. this was where the emperor and his entourage would prepare offerings of calfs and pray the heavens for strong harvests in the future year. At least that was interesting because it related to a part of their culture and it is the oldest surviving temple built during the Ming Dynasty On my way back to the hotel I was starving so I had some kind of lousy noodle dish at the hotel restaurant and Subsequently experienced a wonderful inexpensive massage. Aman who is one of the first travelers to arrive, joined me for an expedition at the silk market. We decided to take the metro. Now think about this one, all the signs are in Chinese and they don’t speak English. So thank God for sign language and pointing at a map. The silk market is reminiscent of our 6th street mart in downtown LA. The nicest floor was the basement floor with exquisite shoes, purses, watches and design accessories boutiques. It was actually really fun, we just sat there and had them show us triple A merchandise like Chanel or Prada purses, asked them questions about their culture and decided we didn’t need anything after all. But I did buy lots of pairs of glasses for much less than the cost in the US, simply because I keep braking, misplacing or loosing glasses. We had an average Chinese dinner on the top floor,came back to the hotel by metro and had tea in the bar, waiting for the rest of our clan to get in.