The Worst Mojito Ever

Sunday 23rd July 2017

Firstly, happy birthday mum. Love you x

In my experience Beijing and Shanghai do have some similarities. But overall I have found them very very different. That is matched of course by the match results. Admittedly I hate losing but for me any negative result in a friendly doesn’t fill me with any larger degree of disappointment than a victory does elation.

Walking through Beijing Airport’s passport control this morning there were millions of people. Of course there were. That appears to be the case everywhere I have been in China. And after a week, accompanied by the heat, I am exhausted and glad to be heading home. In fact I could do with a holiday! 😉

The chinese capital city’s metro system works very well and is cheap too and it was this form of transport that got us to our accommodation for 3 nights when we arrived on Thursday.

Food choices have been generally pretty good since leaving the UK 4 weeks ago but it pays to be a little more ‘careful’ in this part of the world. Diving straight in for the full ‘street food’ experience was consequently decided against, choosing to take on another local speciality in the shape of a ‘hotpot’. An extravagant fondue would be the best way to describe it but thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless.

Sun Li Tum’s Bar Street doesn’t really need an explanation and it does do exactly what it says on the tin. An interesting conclusion to a Thursday that ended with an almighty thunderstorm and the deluge of rain that comes with it, a fairly regular occurence in this part of the world.

Friday saw our first visit to the huge Olympic Park constructed for the 2008 games, initially for the Fans Party in the ballroom at the players hotel. An entertaining hour or so including a brief introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Chinese Opera.

Joining in

His beard is better than yours Olly!

Unless you are very squeamish a walk through the crazy Wanfujing market is an absolute must. A mix of everything from exciting to downright horrific the ‘foodstuffs’ are almost beyond belief. From scorpions to beetles, spiders to grubs, lizards to snakes, seahorses to starfish, it appears if it moves the Chinese are happy to cook and eat anything!!

Scorpion anyone?

Looking on in amazement I decided against a sample. I am not fussy when it comes to food but insects on sticks are definitely something I don’t require in my life.

It was Friday night drinks next including a trip to a bar called ‘Heaven’. Think of the alcohol aisle in the supermarket, a few checkouts and plenty of tables inside and out and you’ll get the picture!

One last trip to Bar Street followed including a ‘Mojito’ purchased from a street bar. I’m sorry but throat burning rum, sugar, green leaves some distance from mint and 7up do not make a great version of this cocktail classic. Not good.

The night concluded with late night tucker of course but definitely not insects.

And so to the last matchday of the tour but before that we shook off our hangovers by joining the thousands of people who descended on the Forbidden City and thought provoking Tianamen Square, pretty much the last touristy aspect of the whole tour.

Descending on to the Birds Nest Stadium is quite something. Unique and extremely iconic it is difficult to not be impressed.

No goals

As for the game however, that is definitely not the case. Chelsea were better than us all over the pitch. Maybe if Rambo had scored just before half time it might have been different. But we looked tired and longing for home so I doubt it.

Keep the faith

But pre-season is very much that. End of.

British Airways are taking me home and my flight boards in a few moments.

So its time to sign off, get back to reality and look forward to next weekend’s Emirates Cup.

I have a feeling creepy crawly kebabs
are unlikely to be the inflight meal.

Frank
@stubbsy70

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