Just touched down in beijing for the tour of beijing that starts wednesday. A few things have been eye openers to me in the 12hrs since i left the comfort of aussie soil and most notably that this is a culture that is very intrigueing! Being pretty well traveled you consider yourself pretty resourcefull at finding your way around and being able to muddle through a few words with a bit of a latin spin on the end and i can usually get by. That i have learnt very quickly does not work in chinese, i have no idea what so ever what they are saying and certainly no clue in the world as to how to know which symbol means which letter and number or word or whatever. Anyway it is certainly an edventure and we athletes are jolly fortunate to be able to have these experiences. Another thing i have noticed is there efficiency in que's! As soon as a que is required they all immeditately bunch up as close as possible, i guess a by product of always being in such large numbers wherever they go. It was a little annoying for me at first as for example in the customs que as you edge forward a few mm immediately there is an equal advancement right behind. At first i was annoyed they decided to play a little game as the que was jolly long and i was bored so i would through the dummy and pretend to move forward but not actuactly move forward forcing a big bunch up on the poor bloke behind me. When he almost got toppled over after a few fake advancements on my behalf i pulled the pin on that game but for anyone interested it keeps things entertaining in the customs que. Next up was my cab ride from the airport and i wish aussie taxi's used the same pricing schedule as the chinese, you also get quite an adventure with the discount rate. Firstly there are no flash falcons or commodores as we are used to in aus or big merc's which is normal in europe, in china they is little corolla sedans and certainly not the latest models and they are painted with pretty much every colour in the rainbow. So the cabbie was a bit annoyed about having to squezze my bike bag and two suitcases in his trusty chariot but like in most cultures a small cash tip all off a sudden changed the finger waving to basically offering to get out the angle grinder and remove the roof if need be to get my bike and goodies in the little toyota rocket ship. Fortunately no alterations the cabs structure were required and before i knew it i was on the hwy to beijing and brought the days journey to an end at the race hotel for the week. Anyway just a few first impressions of my tour of beijing adventure, our hotel is right in the olympic park so looking forward to getting out and checking it out before the race gets underway on wednesday.