Answer to Riddle - Took a Taxi to the China Aviation Museum 26 Miles Away - It Was Closed - Had A Wonderful Lunch In Tiny Town for $1.80 - Then took the Bus and Subway Home
|It looks like a B-29 - atomic bomb dropper|
|The museum and taxiway I walked.|
|I ate at the green sign|
Lulu was busy all day at the US Embassy on special assignment. She said I should go to something that would bore her - and be at the Small German Bakery on Lucky Street at 5 PM by the Embassy.
I picked out the China Aviation Museum - it is 26 miles north of Beijing - it is out in the boondocks. Monday I looked it up online and it said it was closed Mondays. So I figured it was open the rest of the week. It was 2.5 hours by bus or 35 minutes by Taxi - so I caught a cab right out in front of our apartment. I had a really nice quick ride up the expressway - and soon I was in wide open country. It could have been anywhere in the world. During the last mile or so - we were driving on open runways - but there was no other cars.
The driver let me off - and I walked to the gate. As the taxi disappeared back down the runway - the guards told me the museum was closed until November. I am guessing they were preparing it for October - their big holiday period. It was 11 AM - the guards were helpful - they explained there was a bus stop about a mile away - down at the other end of the runway/highway. I figured I had time to kill - and there were adventures out there to experience.
The runway was wide - long - concrete - and about two feet thick. It reminded me of walking on the German Autobahn - except no cars. Along the runway/highway - there were old buildings that looked liked abandoned hotels - barracks - stores - who knows. They were just left to rot. 4 or 5 cars went by - but no one stopped to ask questions. News travels over here and they all probably knew my fate. Newspapers and TV are suppressed - but that does not mean they do not know what is going on.
I got to the stop - a bus came in minutes. I hopped on using my bus card. In about a mile or two - we were at a little town - Baishan. It looked good - about 30 stores lined up. I figured I would sit down for lunch - check out my phone maps - and figure a way home.
I picked out a restaurant that had a permanent sign - Beef Noodle Soup - in English. I also ordered a Coke - although the waiter had already brought a pot of tea. I figured a Coke would be safer. Of course I ordered the Beef Noodle Soup - price unseen. Both were delivered promptly.
The Soup was gigantic. Full of noodles - a big bowl - and several pieces of meat floating. It was supposed to be beef - but could be cow - horse - dog - cat - who knows. I swear it was 2 quarts - but I finished. The Coke was a tall 1/3 liter bottle. People would walk by my table and gesture. Some would use the little English they had. I enjoyed my time there. Maybe 20 people came and went - while I ate. Many would do a double take.
I walked to the counter to pay. To my surprise my bill was 13 Yuan - about $1.80. You know me and a bargain. I thanked them - but no tipping here - no tax. If it is 13 Yuan - that is what you pay. I got out my iphone - open up WeChat - scan their little bar code sign - and bam - money goes from my iphone to their cash register. He asks me if I am American. I said yes - and said I live in Florida. I might as well have been the man from the moon. He said thank you. I said good-bye.
I checkout my Apple Maps on the iphone. They worked fine - without wifi - without VPN. I was in a very strange place to me - but my iphone worked - I could have called my sons back home. Apple Maps said I could either take buses all the way - or take the bus halfway - then catch the subway. I decided to do the bus/subway thing. I took Bus 419 to the Train Station - halfway home. Then I hopped this beautiful new subway in this beautiful gigantic station - that seemed so out of place in the country side. For the first few stops I was alone in the train car with the guard.
Before I knew it - I was near the USA embassy. I got out of the subway and I was right in front of the hotel where we stayed the first week. After a little snack of a chicken cutlet - at you know where - I walked to Lucky Street to wait for Lulu. As I was waiting in the upstairs dining room of the Little German Bakery - charging my iphone - I looked out the window to see Bus 419 stop. Yeah - that's the bus that started out - way back by the China Aviation Museum. I could have made the whole 52 mile round trip for 15 cents on that one bus.
Lulu arrived at 5 PM - all chipper after a hard day's work at the Embassy. After I had a Berliner and milk at the German Bakery - we both agreed we had eaten too much. We went home without supper - we crashed in bed at 8 PM - and woke up this morning at 6 AM
Wednesday - today - Lulu will finish up her special project at the Embassy at 8 PM. They will order in supper at work. I will go to a closer museum - and make sure it is open before I go.
|Nothing like walking an old runway|
|I was hungry but not that hungry|
|My cab passed Electric Power University|
|China Aviation Museum|
|The guards said it was closed|
|The main gate|
|Long abandoned gate|
|Gate at end of taxi way|
|Looks like an old shopping center|
|I had lunch here|
|My small lunch town|
|Main street - apartments on left - store right|
|My seat on the bus|
|Bus had a driver - guard - host|
|This bus had a separate walled lane|
|Modern Subway Station and bike parked|
|C-46 Goonie Bird|
|Plane with cruise missile|