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August 18th 2010
Published: August 30th 2010
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I was up early today thanks to my stupendous roommate. Sure, I wanted to get up early, but I'd have preferred it to be by my own alarm clock. I enjoyed my free egg, toast, and fruit breakfast before hobbling off to catch the bus south.

We rounded a corner, and there it was, Tiananmen Square. My first glimpse was awing. It was even bigger than I'd imagined! They were setting up a stage in the middle, so sadly I didn't get the full effect. But even half of it, looking toward Tiananmen gate was vast. (The Gate of Heavenly Peace is the entrance to the Forbidden City.) I wondered what it would be like if it were filled with people.

The line to see Mao stretched quite far--farther than I had expected so early. I wondered if people came for the flag raising at sunrise and then just got in line.

Across the street, on Tiananmen Gate, Mao gazed down on all of us, watching us, almost as if he knows something.

I crossed the square, filed past the security guards (the square is a secure area), and passed under the street to the former home
Tiananmen GateTiananmen GateTiananmen Gate

This was taken half-way across the square.
of emperors.

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