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Roughed up in Beijing – Part 1 of 6

Posted by on February 28, 2012

Inspired by my BFF, I am going to blog for six days in a row…I promise they won’t all be about Beijing (unless, of course, I run out of material and have to start ratting out said BFF about her not-so-nice-comments about China)…besides, I’ve wanted to see what it’s like to blog every day and six days seems to be a good commitment.

So, each day will be a story and the next will be the story beneath the story…this is the joy and curse of a writer…we see stories everywhere…each story is linked to another, usually deeper, sometimes painfully true lesson of life.  Part 1 begins with our soon to be infamous story of getting scammed in Beijing.

One of these things isn't like the of these things is wearing a rabbit fur hat on her 6 foot high head

Can someone please say, "over the top?"...she was a little bit wigged out by the cold! So much for being a Denver girl!

Anyhow…we successfully navigated the 2.5 hour taxi wait in the cold from 2:30-5:00 a.m., hit the Great wall in record time, tobagganed down (Jen’s version of this story will not include the fact that she whined about doing so, and then declared to everyone that it was “the best part of China”)…it was all fine and dandy until we tried to go to Tiananmen Square…

Every picture I took in Beijing was done with the one hand-arm-out's Jen feigning fear...

As we walked out of our fancy hotel (where the conference was located)…and began our trek to Tiananmen, a seemingly friendly guy on a bicycle with a seat attached told us it would only be 3 RMB to give us a lift.  Always one to avoid excessive walking, we jumped on.  Soon, we found ourselves snug in the back alley’s of veneer China (don’t forget all the work done to make China look great for the Beijing Olympics)…with our seemingly friendly biker demanding 300 RMB! (50 dollars instead of 50 cents!)

This opportunity provided me with a great understanding of our “Fight or Flight” response for my future psychology students.  Invigorated by the tobaggan run, I was ready to put my dukes up and was in mid-scoff at the man when Jen, the girl from the Denver ‘hood handed over 300 RMB faster than you can say “scammer”!  She moved faster than I’ve ever seen and we looked like an old married couple who was fighting over a bad purchase…”why did you give him FIFTY dollars?”  I kept asking, while Jen just kept saying, “It’s ok, it’s ok!”

Turns out she has a lot more street smarts than me and in the end, I think it was the right thing to do.  We got semi-scammed on the way home again and by the end of the day, we felt as though we had seen enough of China, maybe, for a lifetime.  Subsequent conversations with dear friends who have ministered in China have since talked me down from the ledge, but getting scammed is no fun…

Stay tuned for the story beneath the story tomorrow…

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