I got up extra early around 6am to get outside for a run before we head off to Beijing around 830. It was another perfect morning and my fingers were freezing as Iumbered my way through the little paths again. I got back and finished packing some things for the next couple of days. I squeezed in a quick phone call to organise some upcoming projects at home and Justin, Romaine and I got in a taxi for the long drive from Huairou to Beijing South Train Station where all the long haul passenger trains converge. We took almost two hours to get to the station with the dense, insanely slow traffic and ended up 2.5 hours early anyway. We didn’t want to risk missing the only train of the day so we didn’t. Getting closer to 1pm when our host Vivian was supposed to meet us it got a bit hectic and she was having a lot of trouble finding us but we got to each other and battled our way through the extra pushy crowds down onto the platform for the high speed train. I totally didn’t bring a book for the four hour journey but I’m sure I’ll survive. Shen likes to polish his ideas and write poetry on the train so here I am planning my schedule for the next two weeks and writing my little diary. Not so poetic but it’s gotta be done. The train ride was fairly uneventful, I chatted to Justin lots and the countryside was an endless stream of cornfields, sudden burst of highrise apartments and huge factories the whole way to Shenyang. We arrived in the outskirts of the city through more endless rows of empty highrise buildings looming out of the dusk. Once we got out of the train station we met the driver and headed into the massive traffic jam to go and check out the venue where Justin is performing tomorrow night. It was a 2 hour crawl through rows of anonymous office blocks with animated LED displays everywhere, there seems to be a lot of banks and big designer shops like Cartier and Gucci through the centre of town just like any major city. Shenyang has been occupied for 8000 years and currently houses 8 million people, it’s the major heavy industrial city of the North in China and has seen some pretty serious upheavals over the past couple of centuries, everything from the Boxer rebellion, Japanese occupation and the Chinese civil war. It’s now a booming construction site with endless amounts of brand new empty apartments. We arrived at the venue, it’s a massive shopping mall that will be opened tomorrow with a fanfare and stage show that includes Samba dancers, an Angry Birds launch, an iPhone 7 launch and Justin Shoulder as Carrion. It’s going to be a crazy mix but I will be here to support him. The stage has a huge rainbow across it and Angry Birds characters everywhere. We went to the hotel next, it’s a 5 star monster with full murals with Venice scenes on the ceilings and gold everywhere, I’m getting the star treatment along with Justin! We headed back to have dinner with the organisers at a Hot Pot train and I pretty much said yes to all the food coming my way, I’m so full right now. It’s a real estate company that is putting on the event an it turns out that the twenty or so massive high-rises being build around the mall are all part of the development. Holy shit this place is strange, it’s such a grim collection of concrete and glass. The hotel room is massive, everything is oversized and it looks out onto the huge, dark construction sit of endless apartment blocks. Tomorrow will be interesting.