Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Before leaving on my trip my cousin sent me a list of 100 things to do in Beijing. I think we accomplished about 30 of them (pretty good for only being there 7 days-we spent 2 days in another city). To challenge my brain to work through the fog of jet lag tonight I decided to pick my top 5 favorite things. This is difficult but I'm going to stick with it. (Of course I know what you don't and that is that I have many more China posts planned for the rest of the stories!)

So here they are....

5. Seeing the vegetable market in Kristina's neighborhood. Basically this is just an empty lot where on Sundays, Chinese vendors come and sell their fruits, vegetables, spices, rice, noodles, bras, goldfish...pretty much anything. I just felt like I got such a great glimpse into a bit of the Chinese culture and got to see Kristina in action as she buys a lot of her produce there.
4. Purse shopping at the various markets. I had planned on buying a few purses but I had no idea the obsession that would come over me as I journeyed into the various booths looking at all the bags. Kristina did a great job bargaining for me and I actually came home with....well, I won't say the number. I'll just post the picture!

3. Tienanmen Square (and the surrounding areas). It sounds so cliche to list this one but it really was very interesting to walk through the Chinese landmarks that we see on TV. This area, to the Chinese, is like what Washington D.C. is to us. It includes The Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, and Mao's Mausoleum. The most striking thing to me about this place was that most of the Chinese people do not know anything about what happened at the Square in 1989. I was told that the night after the "uprising" the pavement all around the Square was replaced so there wouldn't be any sign of the tanks that had plowed through the area. There were no news stories about the event and even if the people do happen to hear anything about it they don't believe it really happened. It is not good when the government controls EVERYTHING!!! 2. The Great Wall! This was pretty awesome. We rode a tram up to the top and then hiked for 3 hours and ate lunch up on the wall. Instead of hiking down the wall we went down on an alpine slide. It was so neat to see something I've heard so much about! Words can't really do it justice. It also didn't hurt to have some NE peeps there as well and YES I'm still talking about that!! If I ever have the chance to go back to China I'm definitely going to spend more time hiking on the wall including seeing the "wild" (translation-not updated) sections of the wall.
1. Spending time with my cousin, Kristina. This really was the best part of the whole trip! We had such fun just spending time together, having the chance to really talk and catch up. It was very cool seeing where she works and understanding more about the work she does, meeting her friends, seeing places that are important to her, and having her tour me around and translate for me. She has been studying Chinese for the last few years and I think she's pretty fluent, although she says she's only about at a 4th grade level. Anyway, it was a precious time and I'm so thankful to have her as my cousin and to have had the opportunity to go on this trip!


Kristina said...

This was fun to read! Especially your #1. :-) That was sweet of you to say and my #1, too. Looking forward to more posts.

Angela said...

I can't wait to read the rest. Camden had fun sharing the photograph of your food tasting in China. It sparked lots of conversation at the coloring table in Cubbies. :]