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.
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.