Well, it's coming to a close - I can almost taste the celebratory beers when we march straight to the bar after our last performance on the last day.
We've been pretty much trapped up here at The Park for the last couple of days, since the Army (who have an checkpoint at the bottom of the mountain, and stop random cars from heading on up, causing no end of problems for, say, the Head Chef, who is waiting for his shipment of condiments [or whatever], which has been held up and not permitted up the mountain) has declared that the taxi-busses (white mini-vans) that shuttle Park residents up and down the mountain are dangerous and illegal - at least that's what we're told. We suspect that something went wrong with the bribing (someone decided he wanted a bigger cut) so they shut down the whole operation, leaving us effectively stranded (There are a number of other ways down, but they all involve walking!). The Park management claim to be working on a solution, but I'll believe that when I see it, and not before.
It looks like this trip that our agent was planning to take us on is going to go ahead. We will be city-hopping up the East Coast to Shanghai, which is about half-way to Beijing. I then have about 4 days before my flight home (assuming I don't change it, which is always possible) that I plan to spend in Beijing. I would consider it almost criminal to come so far and not see the Great Wall! So, as things stand, I'll be back in Australia on or about the 12th of September.
We also hear rumours that The Park is going to be closing again in a couple of days, which would 1) not surprise me at all and 2) be fantastic, not having to work for the last few days of contract. We have heard that The Park has had nowhere near the number of visitors that they were planning for (banking on?), and that budgets are being slashed. This I can believe because some days it seems that there are more performers/cleaners/workers at The Park than there are tourists! However, the folks at the Hotel have heard nothing of this - indeed they consider themselves to be open for good. I therefore will wait and see what transpires.
See you in a couple of weeks!