Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scenes from Beijing

Let not the horrors in yesterday's post give you the wrong idea about our visit to Beijing; we had a perfectly lovely time.  Beijing is actually a beautiful city -- polluted, crowded, hectic, crazy, and humid -- but beautiful still.


I mean, look at this picturesque spot in the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park.  Could it be any more idyllic?  (Well, it probably would have been more idyllic if some Chinese dude wasn't hocking up a loogie right as I was snapping this photo.)



Our hotel was right across from the Olympic Stadium, and we had a fun time exploring the expansive grounds.  The so-called "Bird's Nest" Stadium is so delicate and pretty from afar, but fascinatingly mechanical and modern looking up close.


Photo taken by my sister

Even more surprisingly, Tsinghua University, where my sister is studying this summer, is not just home to the dorm from hell; it also has some gorgeous hidden gardens that would make anyone want to pick up a brush and scroll and paint.



And let's not forget the food.  Since my sister will be blogging each exquisite meal on her blog, I won't dwell too long on the deliciousness.  Let's just say that the Peking Duck extravaganza we had at Ya Wang (Duck King) has played a starring role in my dreams for the last few nights. (In my nightmares, however, is a "Bizarre Foods"-type visit to the Wangfujing street market, where the critters being sold and consumed -- satay-style -- were so horrifying that I had to delete my photos. If you want more details, I'm sure my sister will have the play-by-play up soon on her blog.)

All this being said, I'm still pretty happy to be back in Hong Kong.  My Mandarin Chinese is pre-K at best, and there's only so much nodding and smiling you can do before you start feeling as dumb as you look and sound.

3 comments:

Christina June 15, 2010 at 10:46 PM  

Yum! I had so much fun visiting Beijing. We had candied "haw" on a stick. My brother ate deep fried scorpion. Have a good rest of your trip! Eat lots of dumplings!

Mrs. Hot Cocoa June 15, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

@ Christina: Did your brother eat the scorpions that were still moving? Those were part of the set of photos I had to delete because they horrified me!

hellowifey June 17, 2010 at 12:38 AM  

oy! The scorpions he ate were skewered and deep fried. They had grubs that were still squirming in a pile that our friends ate (but also deep fried) I would have yakked if I saw anyone eating anything that was still squirming! Good call on censoring the photos! ha ha :)

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