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Riding around

Feel the rush of the wind coming at you, then there's the hiss of doors and a shove from behind, beside, below and then above. This is the moshpit of Beijing's subway, seething, shoving and not a sign of "excuse me". It's not even rush hour and there's a crowd who hit the doors as the train is pulling in. The best way I've coped is to take the shoves and ride it like a good wave into the carriage. Getting out is harder as you need to start squirming towards the door and hope for another good swell to push you out. For only Y2, it's one of the best rides in town.

Every subway station is starting to have its own little character for me - hard working, gruff no posters or glammed-up princesses that want to tell you about their cosmetics, their hair products. Our station is my standard - seems normal, not tricked out too much and a few ex-pats because it's that kind of area.

Beeping car horns are drowning out the tinging of bike bells above ground, though the odd motorised trishaw still buzzes by and there's a lot of two-wheeled herosim in the traffic tangles around roundabouts. I'm watching the progress of a woman and her child wobbling and weaving their way through the pretzel of roadways outside our hotel right now. She's not afraid to cut people off, ring the bell for attention and laugh through her broken teeth at every near hit. She just turns back into the safety of the fenced-off lane as a taxi toots her. This cycling assualt course should definitely be a display sport at the Olympics, maybe with subway surfing.

Overheard in Tiananmen Square: An American college kid finishes an argument with his buddy about whether he paid too much for his Mao merchandise saying, "Dude, I'm a tourist - it's my job to get ripped off."

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