Last days in China

We are all zonked. What a day and what a tour. We did way more than we should have in the time we were here but all in all was a good tour.

We started today at 9:00 and headed to the Great Wall of China. On our way our guide was giving us some insight into living in Beijing. He was talking about cars. The most popular car is the Volkswagon and public officials drive an Audi. The Audi’s often break the driving rules as they are they are in power. He also talked about the problem of so many cars in Beijing they have a rule that you can only drive on a day when your license number is on the correct day. For instance, on Monday only those with 1 and 6, Tuesday only those with number 2 and 7, ect…. This helps to reduce the snarl of traffic. They also only issue 20,000 licenses a year so you may not be able to get a license if they have all ready issued their limit.

It is very interesting to me that people here seem to have lots of patience. A vehical can be blocking traffic and no one toots or seems to be angry that the road is block. Probably because there is always a bit of a snarl for traffic people are just use to it.

The Great Wall was amazing. I have seen pictures and video but you really have to see it in person to appreciate it. We spent about 90 minutes there and was it ever a tough climb. I have some photos and video that I will have to upload later.

We went for lunch after that and then to a couple of souvinier shops where people bought gifts. The on to the concert hall.

The hall was wonderful and the audience was the best. 400 members of the Chinese Army Band were there and we modified our program to include few Chinese numbers and more standard wind band music. This was on their request. Then during the concert Keith spoke about the Washington Post march and the Pride of the Wolverines March. When we ended the concert they kept applauding for more and after we had played all our enchors they gave us a standing ovation. Was a great compliment coming from musicians. I know it seems to be a cliche but music really is something that can and does bring people together. More of the worlds differences could be solved if shared more music with each other.

We had a nice dinner after the concert and back to the hotel. We arrived after midnight and some will be on the road to the airport at 6:00 am. I am one of those lucky people. I may send one more post off in the morning but my brain is too tired to think.

Hopefully on the plane ride home I will be able to edit some photos and video and get them up for you to see when I get back. Remember photos can be seen at

About Mark Olson

I am a conductor and trumpet performer. I am Assistant Director of Bands at Harvard University. I also conduct the Middlesex Concert Band and play in the Metropolitan Wind Symphony as well as the New Sousa Band.
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