After a restless, what may only be called; nap, Zach and I woke up and took an hour subway ride to ICN. Our initial flight from ICN to TAO went off with out a hitch. TAO to Beijing (PEK) was delayed an hour and a half. This was unfortunate for Joel who was already at the Beijing airport waiting for us.
We walked outside and got a cab which dropped us off near the hostel. Being located on a street where no cars are allowed we walked the rest of the way. GPS being what it is we took a small detour around the block.
We were a bit lost and tried to ask for directions. No luck because of the language barrier. The issue is that we have basis for understanding. European languages having similar roots allows you to at least have a chance of understanding what someone is trying to tell you. More on such things later.
Having arrived at the hostel safely and setting the girl at the front desk straight about Zach's last name, we checked in successfully, dropped out stuff in the room and got a quick bite to eat at the hostel.
After dinner we figured out how we wanted to do the Great Wall tour. The Lonely Planet book talked about an illegal hike on an unrestored portion of the wall. This was appealing as it there weren't going to be many people there, but the hostel offered a tour for $42. This included breakfast and lunch. It also had the added benefit of being very near the section we wanted to hike. Oh and also it was, you know, legal.
We chose to do the hostel tour as none of us were ready for striking out on our own the first night in China. I'm glad we did because we drank until... late. But only after we tried to find Tiananmen Square. On the way there I had to use the facilities and strolled right into a Regent. Nicest. Bathroom. Ever. When I came back Zach and Joel where talking to a girl who was attempting to get them to take her out to fancy restaurant and go to fancy art shows where they would be forced into spending a bunch of money on terrible art. A common scam, apparently. The guide book said so.
We got back late and I was only able to sleep for about 6 hours.