Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I had the wonderful opportunity to go to China this past summer! Although it was one of the busiest times of the year there (from what I hear) I had a great time! I stayed in Beijing and it turns out it was exactly one year after the 2008 Olympics. Beijing is a surprisingly safe and welcoming city; the young folks are very friendly and they all want to have a conversation with you. I couldn't go down the street for ten minutes without someone wanting to chat and practice their English, or have someone try to lure me into their private art gallery to make me buy something (which I fell for the first time). Some even ask if you can be in their photo for their own vacation pictures.
There is one street called Wangfujing street, and every night at 5 pm their outdoor food market opens up and they sell all sorts of creepy crawly things on kabobs. They have snake, cricket, squid, and what I think are silk worms. I had to get something, just to try something new, and I got a kabob of little scorpions. They were crunchy and didn't taste like anything, and I imagine are much easier to eat than the squid.
Out of everything, the Great Wall was my personal favorite. I was by myself with a tour group filled with couples on vacation, and when we arrived everyone took the cable car up to the half way point on the wall. Another lone gentleman and I decided to take the stairs. So, while the rest of the group enjoyed the relaxing ride, little did they know that we had secretly engaged them in an epic footrace to the top. While there is no real "top," there is an end to the section of the wall, and we totally beat them there in the imaginary (but totally not) race.