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The Middle Kingdom II: North

Posted January 31st, 2011 at 01:55 PM by chas
THE MIDDLE KINGDOM II: NORTH (BEIJING)

“Politics comes out of the barrel of a gun.”
--Mao Tse tung

I’ve seen the waxen face of Mao in the old Northern Capital, and he’s still dead. We flew north to Beijing on a Soviet Ilyushin 62 jet. Colonel Pete, a retired US Air Force officer, comforted our elderly group by observing: Hey, I didn’t think any of these things were still flying!” He and wife Marge were our favorite people in the group, and the second youngest, being older than us. They had combined two tourist groups together to make ours, which made it large and unwieldy. Sometimes they couldn’t find planes with enough available seats for us all. Half of the group were from a mixture of locations, half were from Louisiana. That made for lively group dynamics four sure!

Emperors worshipped for the nation at The Temple of Heaven, a giant, three tiered, pagoda, standing above a series of three white stone circle railings. The details were typical...

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