This is Toshie from the boat. I ran into
her and Toshi by chance in Shanghai near the Cathay Hotel, where
they were staying. We agreed to meet in Beijing three nights later.
They had to buy their tickets to Beijing on the black market, so they
said. My tickets were already paid for in advance.
On Sunday we met at the assigned time in the lobby of the Beijing Hotel, along with another traveling companion of theirs from Australia. We wound up at a little cafe just off Wangfujing Street. (Unlike Japan, China decides to give each of their streets names, or at least Beijing does.)
After we had been there an hour the waitress told us that the manager wanted us to leave, that we weren't spending enough money. Odd. So we simply went across the street and continued in another cafe.
The next day I was to go to the Great Wall and they were going to the Imperial Palace (though not with Peter Ustinov as their guide). We made plans to meet that night at the Qianmen Hotel and see a Chinese opera.
And we did. After the performance we had a drink in the lobby and parted company, never to meet again.
By coincidence, I was to check into this very same hotel the day after the opera. The agent in Osaka booked me that night in the Qianmen. The first three nights were up to me, and I chose the International Hotel.