Today is Great wall day!!!!!
Yes I am posting more, I want to share all my travels! Plus with my handy dandy iPhone I can write these posts wherever, and save them, and then just post when I get Internet. Today started off early, but I’ve realized Chinese girls take longer to get ready than American girls…. So by the time everyone was ready, it was 9am… So we headed out. We took the subway, got lost on the subway, made it to the train station, then found out we had to wait 2 hours for the next train to Badaling, which is the closest part of the Great Wall to Beijing. There are many sections you can see, but the one you see all the pictures of is Badaling. So we spent 2 hours walking around the mall attached to the train station. I amazed the girls with my skills In finding sales… And I found a necklace that says Epic Fail on sale for 10 rmb. ($1.50) I love the things that the Chinese choose to write. There are clothes that have the most ridiculous phrases on them, and are even full of curse words. The Chinese have no idea what they mean, they just wear them because it’s English. Makes me giggle.
Now we are on the train that is taking us through the suburbs, headed to the mountains. It’s gorgeous!!
I’ve been walking around singing I’ll Make a Man Out of You (from the movie Mulan, for those of you not versed in Disney movie soundtracks). Thanks to Whit-bit, I know the 1st part, and the bridge…..
The wall was amazing. I am finishing this post the next day, because I was so exhausted from all the climbing and picture taking!!! It was truly an amazing site to see. And every time we walked walked up a steep hill, I would think if I don’t like climbing this, imagine building it!!!! It was a chance to both marvel at the amazing architecture, and be goofy. I definitely posed like Kung Fu Panda and took a picture. We also made Zach a happy birthday video. That was fun!!! ( if you haven’t seen it o Facebook or through mom and dad, and would like to see my friends singing Happy Birthday in Chinese and part of the Great Wall, let me know and I can email it to you!)
Today we went to Ti’annamen square, the forbidden city, and the Silk Street Makret. Needless to say, I’m attempting to check off every tourist attraction in the 3 days I’m here! Ti’annamen was insane. The amount of people there to look lovingly at Mao’s picture was astounding. The weather was very foggy, and I found it very eery. While the Chinese people think about what they know, all the good things from that Era, I kept thinking about what we learn, which is the Ti’annamen square massacre, and negative things about that era.
After that, we walked along to the forbidden city. The palace goes on, and on, and on, and when you think you have made it to the end…. Opp there’s another building. Once again, I marveled at the architecture. The buildings here are so amazingly different, I can’t help but just stand there and wonder how two vastly different cultures, Eastern culture and Western culture could have developed on the same planet. Then to think about the different cultures within the incredibly vague category of east or west is just mind boggling. The more I see here, especially the ancient sights, the more I learn to appreciate how different people are, and how our differences can create so many amazing things.
Seeing a different part of China is really making it clear how different everything is, and it’s awesome.
Of course there are the negative differences too. I was looking at a stone sculpture inlaid on a ramp to a building, and a little boy started peeing on it, because his mom pointed him in that direction.
The friends friend that I am staying with has been eating spicy duck intestine, and every day she asks of I would like some, and every day I say oh no thank you, I don’t like spicy food. Because that’s better than saying I can’t quite wrap my mind around eating intestine.
The Silk Market was also very cool. It used to be the silk market, and now it’s just where all the tourists go to buy things. My friend from Dalian has a lady there that she gets freashwater pearls from, and asked me to get her necklace repaired. I went not intending to buy anything, but it’s sooo incredibly cheap!! Necklaces of “potato pearls” ( misshapen but so cool!) for the equivalent of about 3 dollars. sign me up! My Chinese friend and I had fun going around and haggling…. They would give us an extravagant price, we would say um no, I would work them about them half way down, and then Pei Pei would jump in in Chinese and get them down to the price we wanted. For example, I wanted to get a silk wall hanging. They said 280 rmb. I said uhhhh no. My friend said 50. They looked mortified, then quickly jumped down to 130. After quite a bit more back and forth, we got 2 for 120. ( like $17) we were very proud of ourselves!!!!!! I don’t have my mothers talent for haggling but we made quite a good team!!!
Now it’s time for me to crash and get ready for day 3 of the Beijing adventure. Make sure you read both posts, it took 2 days for the 1st one to actually post after I wrote it so it’s not an accident they they ate posted like half an hour apart!
Lots of love, Ash