I had originally planned to visit Beijing during May with one of my South China Morning colleagues. Just an ordinary tourist visit - maybe see the Temple of Heaven, make a day trip to the Great Wall.
That visit never came to pass, however, because of a typhoon in Hong Kong kept all airplanes grounded.
At the newspaper, we also heard that there had been some unrest involving the pro-democracy camped out in Tiananmen Square. Apparently the army had been called in to clear them away, but the commanders of local Beijing units refused to attack. The protests seemed to be dying out, anyway, and I really didn't see them as much of a factor when I rescheduled my trip for June 1.
When I arrived, however, it was soon clear that nobody in Beijing wanted to talk about anything else.
People on the street pressed into my hand Xeroxed sheets full of pro-democracy slogans, asking me to distribute them if I could. At the Temple of Heaven, some college-age Chinese girls told me in English they'd heard "it was going to happen" that night, June 2. 'It' was another crackdown on the students in the square.