A week ago last Friday, I hopped in a taxi at lunchtime to see Tiananmen Square on the 15th anniversary of the June 4 incident. My colleagues had warned me that it would not be a good day to visit. Security will be tight; they will not allow visitors; and any hint that you are a journalist, and you will be arrested, they warned. I told the cab driver to circle the square and return home. On the way there, I mentioned my curiosity about Tiananmen Square on this day of historical significance. 'I'll drive slowly so you can take a look,' he said. We passed the Beijing International Hotel, then the giant poster of Mao Zedong at the entrance to the Forbidden City, which is at the top end of the square. All seemed normal. Tourists crowded around the gates to the Forbidden City. As we drove past the Great Hall of the People, it seemed safe, so on a whim I asked the driver to stop. I jumped out, crossed over to a narrow entrance past a chain link fence, and walked in. In hindsight, my fears seemed exaggerated, like a bad dream that disappears in the morning. But I was almost arrested in the square three years earlier, while flying kites with my children, after I had tried to take a photo of a demonstrator, and I had no wish to repeat the experience. This year, with the sun partly obscured by clouds, Tiananmen was a pleasant spot. But it was nearly empty. As I walked around, across the top of the square, next to the main street, Chang An Jie, two large groups of young schoolchildren sat in neat rows, giggling at the instructions of their teacher. Earlier, friends had cautioned me that the government sends school groups to fill up the square on June 4. But the children seemed happy enough. Three elderly tourists posed for the mandatory picture by the Forbidden City front gate. For me, the game that day was to spot the plain-clothes police. After a while, it seemed easy: they all wore tight black T-shirts, sunglasses and pressed wool trousers. They stood alone in a feeble attempt to resemble tourists - a dead giveaway. I wondered how many couples were security officials in disguise, but a man and a woman together are harder to point the finger at unless their clothes are a notch above the usual drab garb of Chinese tourists. Police vans circled the square in their usual numbers. There was no hint of drama, protest, or overt police presence. I walked to the square's southern tip - the only place to catch a taxi - and stopped off in a luggage shop. The street swarmed with Chinese tourists buying T-shirts, films, fake briefcases and cheap jewellery. Clearly, politics was the last thing on their mind.