Nope, not gone yet, but it's a done deal. Started of the day by heading to the Tangshan train station this morning. Meant to do so yesterday, but I was lazy and late in getting up, so postponed. Stupidly, I ought to have checked the train station anyway to figure out tickets. Sadly, I didn't, so the answer was "mei you"... so good thing I went to Beijing. Got a train for tomorrow at 6:27pm, overnight to Xi'an, soft-sleeper.
Took care of that as soon as I arrived in Beijing. After that, I hit a noodle restaurant for something fast, then hit the subway. It feels like I spent half my day in the subway, now that I think about it. Andrew recommended some camera shops down on Qian Men street and found a 1gb card for 360 yuan. Not too bad. Then decided to wander back to the subway via Tian'an Men Square. It was a hazy day, so the pictures came out crappy. It really isn't much to see. Big square... monument... tree-enclosed museum/tomb. I guess I was expecting something a little more. Lots of people, anyway.
Then it was back onto the subway to Sanlitun area (or near there). Li li, Andrew's girlfriend, told me about a clothes/accessories superstore called Yashow so I managed to find that alright. Looked at a backpack they wanted 380 for and I got it for 260, so I was happy. It's a nice lil' pack, too. Then it was a quick walk to Sanlitun's bar street itself where I finally found and bought "In the Mood for Love", the Wong Kai Wei film that is the precursor to "2046". I'd been looking for it since I got here. (also got Clerks and the Usual Suspects)
Unfortunately... the total costs were in excess of 1,000 yuan (360 for camera card, 260 for backpack, 400 for ticket, 100 round trip bus ride). I was lucky to have enough left over for the bus back. (yay haggling)
So that's that. Just doing some final packing and making sure I have what I need. Then it's off into the wild blue. Or something. Looks like it'll only be 5 weeks of travel at this point, but that should still be plenty of time to see and do what I'd like to. The major concern was camera memory, and that's been taken care of. With a 1 gig stick, a 128 meg stick and the reserve 16 meg stick... I should be okay for well over 1000 pictures (if not closer to 2000). Which likely means that I'll be spending days renaming and organizing photos after this is all over. ... and breaking Flickr's servers with my uploads.
Anyway, that's it for now. I'm off. When next I write, it will be from the road.