This is another section of the Emperor's Palace and was the start of a lot of stair climbing! Our three hosts are in the first picture and were so very gracious and wonderful...we are so very, very lucky!See the trip: Beijing, China
2Teach's Friday July 20th, 2012
We heard this music coming from above us and decided to explore and we were so glad that we did! There was a band playing and all of these people were singing and dancing...it was wild! They had songbooks and they were so, so very happy...it was quite the sight. This elderly gentlemen said hello and wanted to get pictures with us and he told us what was happening (he spoke very good English) and tried to get us to join in...he was so happy! The priceless moments that I will never forget...See the trip: Beijing, China
The arch that you seen in the picture is actually made out of gold...the emperor spared no expense! Makes McDonald's golden arches look more like just yellow paint! The big rock was something special, but I could never get close enough to find out what it was...too many people!! I will have to find out...See the trip: Beijing, China
Once inside the grounds, there is beauty everywhere and you can even hear it. We came upon this group of older Chinese that just were playing their instruments and singing...it was quite beautiful! According to our hosts, this is a common occurrence on the weekends...the older Chinese people like to come to the grounds and play their music and sing.
You can see from the photos the combination of clouds and smog, make for some less than beautiful pictures. Take my word for it...it was beautiful! I took a lot of photos and so did Martin, so I will have plenty to show when I get home. You can rent a boat and paddle around the river and they also have boats that you can ride to get around the grounds...it was awesome.
This the courtyard to the Summer Palace...amazing buildings everywhere you look! The lion you are supposed to touch for good luck, but do not touch the handrails! I think this is funny...what are you supposed to do with handrails, if you can not touch them?!!? Maybe it has to do with the fact that the all the rails are made of bronze!See the trip: Beijing, China
I know I have not posted in a while, but that is because most of the time has been spent at the Institute working with the students. Some observations...the kids are wonderful, the cafeteria food is awful (thank goodness for our breakfasts at the hotel), the smog is disgusting, and Beijing is a big city just like all the rest...so far. Other than the smog, I would say that everything that I have heard about China is not really accurate. The people are quite friendly and try really hard to put up with me, the buildings are both very old and very new, and it is quite modern. We found a convenience store that has ice cream, soda, candy, etc. right outside of the Institute...yes! After lunch and dinner we go there to get some junk food to balance out the cafeteria food...much needed! I have been having a wonderful time and am very excited to be here enjoying this experience...although, I am missing my family quite a bit (thank goodness for Skype!).
Today ended the 1st week of the workshop and we decided to go out to eat. We asked one of the grad students where we should go and he said he would find out. He comes back after a few moments and says that he and two other grad students would join us for dinner...interesting! So, they took us to a Chinese restaurant and after taking a really long time trying to figure out what we were going to eat, we were able to place our order. A lot of interesting food items were brought to the table...duck, fish, pork, soup, noodles...most of them were quite tasty. We were four very happy Americans! When it came time to pay for the bill we were ready to pay for the three students and they beat us to the punch! They told us that they were actually asked by the director to take us out to eat and that the institute would pay for it! We are being treated way too nicely!!
Tomorrow we are off to the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City and downtown Beijing...some other grad students are going to be taking us around. We do not deserve this kind of treatment...I will be taking quite a few pictures tomorrow!!!
These three graduate students at ITP were our hosts for dinner on Friday night. We had a lot of fun with them learning about China and just trying to communicate. Ordering dinner and drinks was hilarious and our first waiter did not find us amusing and just walked away and sent in another person. We had a terrific time and we are being treated way too well!!! A fantastic dinner and a tremendous time with new and old friends.See the trip: Beijing, China
When we went to this restaurant with the three students, we asked then if there was and dark beer that we might be able to order. They did not really understand what we were asking (not beer drinkers) and Ken (our resident language expert) tried to interpret with the the help of the students some of the beer menu items...he thought one of the options was Guinness! No way! So we ordered it and WOW! It was Guinness...in a bottle, but beggars can not be choosers. At the end of a good, but long, week...this hit the spot!
The other smaller clear drink was a Chinese drink...basically, clear alcohol is the translation. Made from rice, I am told. We did a few shots of it and it was fine...a strange flavor, not unlike vodka. When in China...you need to do more than eat the food, right?