Wednesday, June 4, 2014

China Trip Day 1 - Exploring Beijing

We started the day by visiting Tienanmen Square.  There really wasn't that much to see except for Mao's dead body.  That was pretty cool!  And kind of gross.  He just looked like wax.  Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures of it, but that would be kind of weird anyway.

Since yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the protests at Tienanmen Square, there was a lot of security there.  I thought that the police were scary, but their cars were adorable!

Then we went to a park and found the site where David O. Mckay (a former LDS prophet) stood and dedicated China for the teaching of the gospel.  It hasn't come to pass yet, but it was pretty cool!

There were tons of old people at the park with papers in front of them.  Mr. Anderson explained that each one was basically advertising their son, looking for a wife for him, haha!

Then we crossed the street to the Forbidden City which was absolutely amazing.

The architecture!  The further you got into it, the more impressive.  The detail astounded me.  However, it was super sunny and hot so we were kind of dying from heat.  But that is okay!

After those exhausting adventures, we went to a super fancy restaurant for lunch.  The ceiling was made of mirrors and the bathrooms were glorious!  I didn't love the food, but it was decent enough.

The Drum Tower was our next stop.  We climbed up 70 super steep steps to see a performance that was quick and really cool.

We hung around up there for a bit, the view was great.

The pollution was the first thing that I noticed when we stepped out of the airport last night.  It is ridiculous!

Our tour guide was super cute.  I told her I like her dress and she got really giggly and embarrassed.  I forgot that Chinese people don't really accept praise!  We soon climbed back down and started the rickshaw tour.

They took us all around this ghetto town, and eventually dropped us off at some lady's house.  She gave us a tour of it and apparently it was a very expensive place to live in, that area.  Who'd have known?

We got back on our rickshaws and went around a little more.  Kylee and I had a hilarious old man for our driver.  We saw many interesting things, I really liked that tour!

The acrobatic show was next, and holy cow it gave me anxiety!  It is amazing what people can do!

One guy kept almost falling off from a very tall piece of machinery, so he should just stop.  The projected backgrounds were funny, my favorite one was China bowls spinning in space.  I was dying.  Of course, they weren't meant to be funny, but they were!  Too bad I couldn't take pictures.

We ate dinner at a place that I liked much better than today's lunch because they actually had white rice.  And they had curry!  Of course, the curry wasn't as good as Indian curry, but I still liked it.  They even had egg drop soup, but it was mostly just canned corn so I didn't eat much.

This evening I also had my first run in with a squatter toilet.  Now that is terrifying!  Luckily there was a "western toilet" in the stall right next to it.  I'm going to try my best to avoid those squatters!

Nobody provides toilet paper, too.  And you can't flush the toilet paper (that you bring) down the toilet, you have to throw it in the trash can.  Ew!

Now I am back at the hotel, which is really quite nice.  Except not being able to drink the tap water is very annoying.  It makes me happy that there is WiFi in the lobby where I can call my family and tell them I made it to Beijing safely, and that the first day was wonderful!

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