Where in the WORLD is Verlene Veranda? July 6, 1998 (and more)

I am surprised to find that Jacqui had time to fill you in on our trips. What with all of the Sidney Sheldon books that were on board the boat.

I am sorry that I could not write but I was back in China (No dears, NOT the Department in Macys...the Country). Quite a trip involving me, LITERALLY crossing a river (on foot, but not like Jesus) to enter China. My health Declaration Form at the frontier check, warned me that should I develop any diarrhoea or vomiting, that I should bring this card to the "nearrest" health bureau. "Then you may enjoy a favored medical service with high quality". These people just make you feel so welcome.

As the "night curtain falls" I finished haggling with many cabbies to got to my plush hotel (ha). The house rules there told me that

This from a place where the other sign warned "Tap water is Undrinkable"! Hygiene is so subjective!

I went down to the Karoke lounge now which promised to be "A delicate place for friends to meal and sing". I mealed. At two in the morning some woman just called my room to offer "come room?...beautiful Chinese...make love". What a scary thought! Boy, is she knocking on the wrong Trailer!

Beijing was so incredible as I got the chance to climb the great wall (which NO ONE told me was going to require hiking gear! Verl was completely under-dressed!).

I was truly impressed with the great wall! It would be better if they installed a cooling water-slide, but that may come in time. Trust me, that is no cheesier than the vendors selling the "I Climbed the Great Wall" t-shirts!

Most of the weekend was in Beijing was spent bumping into Bill, Hillary and Chelsea. The downside was the traffic. The upside was the abundance of Secret Service and Marines swarming all over Beijing. Quite the buffet. These burley guys just did not blend into the general populace. And that is a good thing. I bought a big black beret and stood in the crowd, hoping for a hug, but alas, none was forthcoming.

We watched Clinton leave the Forbidden City (a concept much like our nations capital, except that there, nothing is forbidden) and then we entered.

Wow, did they have a decorator or WHAT! Originally we were thrilled because there was NO ONE else in the place and we had it to ourselves. However, our glee soon turned to horror when we realized that because of the security, all of the little shops that sold cold water were CLOSED! This meant that I nearly fainted from the heat and dehydration. Thanks Bill!

Sadly, because of the unauthorized religion laws, we were shown the most beautiful places in China but these are all just museum pieces and not at all spiritual. Very sterile and cold compared to similar places in Thailand or the rest of Asia.

Well, I must run! It's off to tour the new Airport in Hong Kong today!

Verlene Veranda