Yesterday we were treated to the spectacle of a mid-morning anti-government protest in our hotel parking lot. A crowd of elderly folks who said they’d paid into a government pension but had received no benefits aired their grievances. Speakers took turns with a megaphone, occasionally leading the crowd in chants. Some of the gatherers were friendly toward our class members, but many were suspicious of our cameras and notepads.
We trekked to the Forbidden City soon after. Looking past the crowds, heat and humidity, it was a spectacular sight to behold. Every building was intricate, colorful, and adorned with dragons or other gargoylesque sentries. Photos to come soon(ish).
Today was the first day that the smog lifted and blue sky was visible through wispy clouds. A cool, autumn-like breeze stirred all day. We had a fascinating briefing at the hotel this morning with Jaime Florcruz (CNN), Jeremy Goldkorn (Danwei) and Paul Mooney (Newsweek [formerly], South China Post).
I spent the rest of the day emailing sources and trying to put together stories, and catching a nap to compensate for consistently waking up around 4:30 a.m. Busy day tomorrow, as usual. Off to bed with me.